When the students enter the classroom, I have the Smartboard slide posted. No words are really necessary as the students can see we've made a serious transition. They just finished writing from the perspective of a person in 1974 watching Philippe Petit walk between the Twin Towers. They know without saying that today they are going to write from the perspective of horrified New Yorkers as they watched the attacks of 9/11.
As they sit down, I ask the students how the pictures in front of them today are different from the pictures of the New Yorkers in the book. I want their answers to reflect the terror, the confusion, the horror that the people were witnessing on 9/11. Some students said, "They are scared", "They are worried". I asked them if the people in the book were worried and one student summed it all up. She said, "The people in the book might have been worried for Philippe, but these people were worried for themselves." Bingo!!!
When students finish writing their perspectives, I gather them back as a group to share and move on.
(This activity may take a while, because my students loved to write as someone else. So you may have to use your best judgement on how much time to give them.)
I always want students to share and I learned from my other perspective lesson so this time I use a Kagan structure (Kagan and Kagan, 2009) called Mix Pair Share (Kagan and Kagan, 2009) to allow students to move around a bit and to share their writing with others. I let the Mix Pair Share go for three rounds so every student gets to share three different times.
Once the students sit back down, I want to begin talking about comparing and contrasting the points of view from the SAME event. So I ask them how their perspectives were the same and different. Some of the students said that using the picture from across the water didn't allow them to see as much detail as the closer pictures. Some of the students who chose a firefighter from the photo said that they saw a lot more of the damage- they saw the fire, they saw the people, they saw the buildings fall.
Once we have talked about comparing and contrasting, I want students to get some practice in that skill so I have them Stand Up Hands Up Pair Up (Kagan and Kagan, 2009) with a person who wrote from a different perspective from them.
They get their Venn diagrams and find a quiet corner of the room to do their comparing. I collect the Venns before they leave so I can formatively assess their readiness in comparing perspectives.