Point of view is an important reading comprehension strategy for elementary students to become proficient in. Being able to identify if the story is being told from the first, second, or third person and reflect on how this impacts the story helps readers better understand and enjoy stories they read and listen to. Learn all about how to teach point of view below!
What is Point of View?
The person who is telling a story helps us to identify the point of view. The way that the author chooses to convey their message depends on the narrator they choose to tell the story. While the author is the one who wrote the words, point of view helps us understand who in the story is explaining the details.
There are three different types of point of view:
First person point of view is when the main character is telling the story. We can identify this point of view by looking for pronouns such: as we, I, me, my, and our.
Second person point of view is when the narrator is telling the story and addresses the readers. We can identify this point of view by looking for pronouns such as: you, your, and yours.
Third person point of view is when the narrator is telling the story, but they are not part of the story. We can identify this point of view by looking at pronouns such as: he, she, they, them.
There are three different types of a third person point of view: limited, objective and omniscient. When the point of view is third person limited, the narrator focuses on only one character’s thoughts and feelings. The reader does not learn as much information about the other characters. In an objective point of view, the narrator strictly reports the facts and information. They do not provide information about the characters’ thoughts, feelings or opinions. Finally, the omniscient point of view is when the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story.
Why Is Point of View an Important Comprehension Strategy?
The ability to identify the point of view in which a story is told is an extremely important reading strategy. This skill is included in many reading standards and there are often questions regarding point of view on standardized tests. Strong knowledge of point of view also helps students with their own writing. They will have a better idea about the appropriate narration they should use when they are writing their own stories.
Understanding the point of view helps students to gain a deeper understanding of what they are reading. When identifying the point of view students are using their critical thinking skills to analyze the text they are reading. The more students practice this, the stronger their critical thinking skills will be.
The point of view will help students identify how the author’s point of view impacts the way the story is told and have a better understanding of the author’s purpose. Being able to identify the point of view also helps readers to recognize any potential bias that the narrator might have.
Teaching Standards for Point of View
Standards for this reading comprehension topic include…
- RL.1.6 – Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
- RL.2.6 – Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
- RL.3.6 – Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
- RL.4.6 – Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
- RL.5.6 – Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.
- ELA.1.10.E – The student is expected to listen to and experience first- and third-person texts.
- ELA.2.10.E – The student is expected to identify the use of first or third person in a text.
- ELA.3.10.E – The student is expected to identify the use of literary devices, including first- or third-person point of view.
- ELA.4.10.E – The student is expected to identify and understand the use of literary devices, including first- or third-person point of view.
- ELA.5.10.E – The student is expected to identify and understand the use of literary devices, including first- or third-person point of view.
3 Tips for Teaching Students to Identify the Point of View
Below are suggestions for when you’re teaching your students to identify the point of view when reading.
1. Read Aloud Picture Books
Reading aloud picture books is a great way to model and practice this reading comprehension strategy. There are tons of great read alouds out there for teaching students to identify the point of view of a book. Some high-quality examples include Three Hens and a Peacock, The Gardener, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and Memoirs of a Hamster, and Those Pesky Rabbits.
2. Make Anchor Charts
Anchor charts are another great way to teach students about identifying the point of view in children’s books. My point of view resource includes an interactive anchor chart that successfully engages students in their learning and provides a visual learning experience for students to learn about identifying the point of view.
3. Use Videos
The third on the list of tips for teaching students to identify the point of view is playing videos. This is another great visual learning opportunity for students to learn about what can feel like a very abstract idea. Below are some examples of videos that are great for teaching students how to identify the point of view in picture books.
Point of View Resources
These printable and digital resources for teaching elementary students about point of view make curriculum and lesson planning quick and easy. It includes teacher, parent, and student resources, so you’ll have everything you need to deliver meaningful research-based instruction rooted in current best practices.
What is Included
1. Teacher Resources
There are teacher notes about the strategy, teaching ideas, a planning page with question prompts, and list of mentor texts, so you have all of the information you need to plan a research and standards-based reading unit based on this reading comprehension strategy.
2. Parent Resources
There is a parent letter and a reading log with suggested question prompts so parents can confidently support and reinforce the strategy you are teaching with their children at home.
3. Instructional Resources
There are printables to create a large anchor chart and reference charts. Both save you lots of time searching for anchor chart ideas and supplemental teaching tools.
4. Student Resources
There are 3 printables and 2 activities for students that provide meaningful opportunities to practice and make sense of the reading strategy in a fun and engaging way.
5. Digital Resources
There are digital versions of several of the resources so students can access them in school or at home using a technology device of their choice.
Why Teachers Love this Resource
- This collection of resources is versatile in that it can be used on it’s own or can be used to supplement any reading curriculum, so you will be able to continue to use these resources if your school adopts a new reading program or you switch school districts.
- This resource is part of a larger collection of reading strategy products, so you can provide a consistent instructional approach that your students quickly learn and understand the expectations and routines for. Learn more about this collection here!
- It’s a huge time saver! Instead of hunting for background information on a reading strategy and then searching for resources to teach the strategy, this comprehensive resource includes all of the information and resources you need to teach a whole unit on this reading strategy.
- The student activities are a lot of fun for students, which helps create a productive learning environment where students are engaged and learning!
- It includes resources that provide a great way to create a home-school connection with students’ families and support parents/guardians in continuing student learning at home.
In closing, we hope you found this post about how to teach point of view helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in this other post about elementary reading comprehension strategies.