Teaching reading using the 4th grade standards can feel forced and not that much fun. But if we think of them as an opportunity to encourage our student’s love of reading – it can become a joy to teach them! Using the reading standard for introducing point of view in narrative stories is a great example. As students begin getting to know the character’s feelings, thoughts, and actions in a narrative story is when they are drawn into the plot and start to care about how the story develops. As they get to know more characters and stories, they begin to enjoy the act of reading. That’s the goal.
“Don’t just read to read. Read to understand.” – Jill Telford.
Your students come into 4th grade having been introduced to what point of view in a narrative story is in 3rd grade. The focus in 3rd grade was comparing their own point of view to that of the narrator or characters.
If you want to know more about teaching point of view in 3rd grade, this post can help: Showing Students How to Find the Point of View.
The fourth grade Common Core standard is:
RL.4.6: Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first-person and third-person narration.
What’s different? Now they are required to compare and contrast those elements between two stories.
Table of Contents
What is the point of view?
Before expecting your 4th-grade readers to compare and contrast two stories, they should revisit exactly what 1st-person and 3rd-person narration is and how they can identify it.
I’ve seen the point of view described as the “eye” or narrative voice through which the story is told.
How Do You Teach Point of View to 4th Graders?
As with most reading lessons, I start with an anchor chart that defines the standard for my students. I want them to have a reference point and a guide to use as they read.
One of my favorite books to use for point of view is The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! It is told from the wolf’s side of the story. My students think it is hilarious, and they love to read it repeatedly. It’s an engaging story that is perfect for introducing a point of view.
Step One: Who is telling the story?
The first thing I want my students to find is who is telling the story? This is found on the first page (which is normally not the case).
“I’m the wolf. Alexander T. Wolf. You can call me Al. I don’t know how this whole Big Bad Wolf thing got started, but it’s all wrong.”
He uses the pronouns I’m, me, and I. Using this anchor chart, students can identify that the story is being told in the first person and the narrator is the wolf. He even gives them a clue as to his point of view in the last sentence. He hooks the reader! Now they want to keep reading to find out why he thinks this.
Step Two: Reading with a Purpose
Now that the wolf has hooked the reader, we want our students to read the story with the purpose of finding out the wolf’s point of view.
For that purpose, I give my students these questions:
- Who is telling the story?
- Who is the main character?
- What are the major events?
- What is the speaker’s point of view:
- Do you agree or disagree with the speaker?
The last question helps the reader compare and contrast their own feelings and thoughts about the events to that of the narrator. I like that this question gives them buy-in to the story by relating it to their own ideas.
As they find the answers to the questions, they jot them down on a note-taking page or post-it notes.
Step Three: Sequencing the Story
Next, I ask students to sequence the story, focusing on the character’s feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Step Four: Identifying the Point of View of the Story
After these activities, students should be able to tell or write the overall point of view of the narrator. In the case of this story: the wolf just wanted to get a cup of sugar for his poor sweet grandma’s birthday. This is, of course, the opposite of the pigs’ viewpoint in the original story!
I think your 4th graders will love this introductory lesson on points of view with this hilarious story! It sets out the steps they will have to use in conjunction with the 4th grade standard of comparing and contrasting points of view of two narrative stories. You can use these steps with any story.
Grab these FREE Point of View Anchor Charts!
I would love to share these anchor charts with you! Just CLICK HERE to get these two FREE Point of View Anchor Charts!
Thanks for reading!
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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