Lesson 3: First or Third Person
- Learning Goal
- Identify and describe the differences between first person and third person points of view.
- Approximately 50 minutes
- Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching and Guided Practice (Clues for Determining Point of View), Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco and Great Black Heroes: Five Bold Freedom Fighters by Wade Hudson, chart paper, markers, books from the classroom library written in the first and third person
will review that first person is written as if the story is happening to the narrator, while third person is written as if the narrator is watching what is happening in the story from outside. I will discuss how stories written in the first person usually use the pronouns “I,” “me,” “my,” and “we,” and stories written in the third person usually use the characters’ names and the pronouns “he,” “she,” or “they.” I will choose two books that the class is familiar with (one written in first person and one written in third person). I will reread a few pages and model identifying the point of view. I will explain the differences in the story based on the point of view. For example, in White Socks Only, we get to know the narrator very well as she tells the reader her story. In Where the Wild Things Are, we do not know much about what Max is thinking or feeling because the narrator is someone else. (See Direct Teaching Teacher Example Chart, provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.)
Ask: How did I determine the differences in first person point of view and third person point of view? Students should respond that you read a few pages from a text and paid close attention to pronouns being used. You also thought about who was telling the story and whether they were a character in the story. Then you thought about how much you know about the characters based on the point of view in which the story is told.
will read the first few pages of Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco and the first few pages of Great Black Heroes: Five Bold Freedom Fighters by Wade Hudson. We will identify the point of view of each book and discuss how we determined the point of view. We will also discuss the differences in the books based on the point of view. For example: Chicken Sunday is a personal story written in the first person, while Five Bold Freedom Fighters is written more for informational purposes and in the third person.
will identify a book from the class library that is written in the first person and a book that is written in the third person. You will explain how you determined the point of view and describe the differences in the books based on their points of view. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.)
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Build Student Vocabulary ceremony
|Tier 2 Word: ceremony|
|Contextualize the word as it is used in the story||Stewart and Winston became the narrator’s brothers when the children performed a ceremony in their yard.|
|Explain the meaning student-friendly definition)||A ceremony is an activity held to mark a special event. Often a ceremony is the beginning of a change. Before the ceremony, Stewart and Winston were not the narrator’s brothers. After the ceremony, the children felt like they were family.|
|Students repeat the word||Say the word ceremony with me: ceremony.|
|Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts||A wedding is a ceremony that makes two people husband and wife. A graduation is a ceremony that says that someone has successfully completed the requirements of the school.|
|Students provide examples||Give an example of a ceremony. Tell me about it by saying, “An example of a ceremony is _____________.”|
|Students repeat the word again.||What word are we talking about? ceremony|
|Additional Vocabulary Words||solemn, exchanged|
Introduce the book Chicken Sunday by explaining that it is a story about a girl and her neighbors who set out to buy a hat for their "grandma" for Easter. Explain that the main character and her neighbors come from different cultural backgrounds. The main character comes from Russia, while her friends are African American. You can tell because in the opening pages she uses words like "babushka" which means headscarf in Russian. Point to Russia on a map, and explain that many Russians immigrated to the United States about 100 years ago. They brought with them cultural foods (like borscht, a beet soup), religion (mostly Christian Orthodox, but sometimes Jewish), and their language, like some of the words you will encounter in the book.