Infer the Characters' Point of View

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SWBAT use inferences and text evidence to determine the characters' point of view.

Big Idea

What are they saying? What are they thinking? Point of view!



I chose this book because it has GREAT illustrations and lots of opportunities for inferencing. There are 2 main characters, so the kids can really focus on their distinct point of view. It is at the top end of 2nd grade reading level (RL.2.10), but the illustrations add a huge amount of information.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.


Common starting point

  • "Today we are going to talk about point of view or perspective."
  • "Let's take a look at some pictures and see what the characters' point of view might be. The characters on each slide are doing the same thing, but their point of view is different."
  • Powerpoint slide 1: "There are no words on this slide, so we'll do some inferring. What is happening in the picture?"  Take ideas
  • Show slides 2-4.  Talk about how the boy wants to play with the fire engine, but the men use it to put out fires. The girls play dress up and have tea but the queen has a job. The kids draws on the wall but the person writes for a purpose."
  • Here's what our discussion about point of view.
  • Stop after slide 4.


Using these pictures REALLY helped my kid see how point of view can differ between characters. Acknowledging the different points of view, including speaking in different voices when reading aloud, helps kids see that perspectives change with the plot.  (RL.2.6)  Before we jumped into the story about lizard characters, I decided to use the powerpoint to start with the known - kids' and adults' point of view. When we analyze stories, it helps to start with the known and familiar and then bridge to the unknown. I was especially pleased to see this generalization in this student's comments. 

Teacher's Turn

15 minutes

Give the purpose of the lesson

  • "I have one more slide to show you (slide 4) - it's related to the story we are doing today. Tell me about the point of view of these 2 artists."  Take ideas.
  • Look at slide 5. Review what point of view is and how the author uses it to help us see and hear ideas.
  • "Today we'll read a story with 2 main characters. We will look at their point of view - the text clearly shows some ideas and others will have to be inferred."
  • Show slide 6


 Introduce strategy - teacher models

  • "I'll look for words and illustrations to show point of view or make an inference."
  • Read through the page that says, 'I'm painting you."  Let's talk about point of view... Max's point of view is....'I will paint Art'-it says that in the words.  Art's point of view is that 'I want Max to paint a picture of me' - that's not in the words-that's an inference. Listen to my voice for each one. Can you hear what Max's and Art's voices sound like?"  
  • This was our discussion about using voice.
  • "I'll put what Max says in the voice bubble and an inference for Art in a thought bubble."


Practice strategy - guided practice

  • "Let's try one together."  Read through the next page that starts with 'Ta-da!'
  • "What is Art's point of view?"  Take ideas ('This is preposterous')  It says that in the text so put that in a voice bubble."
  • "What is Max's perspective?"  Take ideas ('I need to paint all of you' or 'You look great!') "It doesn't say that so it's an inference.  Put that in a thought bubble." This is how our guided practice discussion went. "Someone read those perspectives with a good voice for Max and Arthur."
  • This is what the whiteboard when we were done.


Review and Sum up

  • I summed up the model and guided practice before I went on. It helps get the kids ready to work independently. This is what that review sounded like. 


As students ask and answer questions using evidence from the text and illustrations, they are demonstrating skills that represent a shift towards using text evidence to make inferences (RL.2.1). They are reading 'closely'' to determine what the text says explicitly and make logical inferences based on that evidence.

Students Take a Turn

20 minutes

Assign Task

  • Let's try one more example (my kids just seemed to need to work together one more time). Here's how I helped with one more example.
  • "I'm going to continue reading and pause after each page.  You have 8 bubbles to show the point of view 4 times for each character."  
  • "Some should have text evidence - there are words or illustrations to show their point of view.  Others should be inferences - you're using text evidence and adding your schema to infer the point of view."


Continue reading and give kids time to fill out the worksheet

  • Help with spelling as needed.
  • You may need to help individual students with inferences. Here's how I prompted for an inferences.
  • As you read the text or students read with you on the Elmo, encourage other reading strategies and ask kids to explain their thoughts, as time allows.. Several of my kids connected to the art. Another student made a prediction.  These strategies shared out loud are great models for all of the kids.
  • As kids write, set the expectation that the kids spell the words in the book correctly. 
  • The paper is designed to have a certain number of voice bubbles and inferences. I did remind my kids to finish the bubbles. Mine had plenty of voice bubbles, but had to think a bit harder for the inferences on the thought bubbles.
  • Here's an example of a completed worksheet.


Balance this activity with the reading and comprehension of the book. You want to read this book fluently and pausing too long or too often will make the kids lose interest and lose the pace of this book. Look for comprehension - are the kids able to pick up on character changes and plot. I was pleased when one of my kids noticed that the characters motivation switched.  This kind of formative assessment gives you feedback on how the lesson is going and if the students need more practice.

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Extend what you've learned

  • "The story actually had another character who showed up in almost every page. Let's take what we've learned and make a picture of him, telling his point of view."
  • "Look at this last page - the little guy has paint all over him.  Turn over your paper and draw his face.  (I actually sketched the frog on the board to give my 'art-challenged' kids some help.)  
  • Add a thought bubble or voice bubble to show what he might be saying and thinking."  Take a look at this video of how I explained the task.
  • This is an example of one of my student's character sketches.
  • Who wants to share their character with the point of view?"


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

Students with language challenges may need some help with this activity. You could prompt them by pointing to the text for examples of the voice bubbles and perhaps put words on the whiteboard for inferencing.  

Those with more language should be challenged to use higher level vocabulary and language in their examples. The voice bubbles may just be what is in the text or illustrations, but inferences should give them a chance to use their higher language, such as 'the dinosaur picture is incomplete' or 'I have to recreate the dinosaur'.