Short Stories for Point of View in Literature
When the point of view changes, the story changes. Teach the importance of point of view with these short stories
ELA Common Core Standards Covered
Teaching point of view in short stories may cover the following ELA Common Core Standards. This is for your administrator, not your kids. Kids need student-friendly worded objectives.
- RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- RL.9-10.6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
- RL.9-10.10 By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Point of View in Literature Defined
We all teach that point of view is the perspective from which a story is told, but teaching mastery requires learning more than just a definition. Here are the levels of learning in regards to teaching imagery.
- Define point of view: You can teach a monkey to recite a definition. It’s simple memorization. It is necessary for mastery but does not come close to achieving it.
- Identify a story’s point of view: You’d have trouble teaching a monkey to identify the point of view in a story (unless it’s a really smart monkey). Most high school students know it when they see it. Simply identifying it, however, has no practical application outside of a classroom. It is not mastery.
- Interpret point of view: Now we’re approaching mastery. Students who can explain the author’s purpose in using a particular point of view and how the point of view relates to the overall theme of the literary work are using critical thinking skills, skills that can be applied outside of the classroom.
- Choose point of view with a purpose: Students who can use point of view to suit a specific purpose in writing or in speech have mastered the concept and are one step closer to becoming a master of words.
Short Stories for Teaching Point of View in Literature
- “Content’s of the Dead Man’s Pocket” by Jack Finney – Tom Benecke compiles a report that just may get him his big raise, but as the piece of yellow paper flies out the window and onto a ledge, Benecke must decide whether to risk his life and retrieve the paper or let it go. The reader sees the story develop from a third-person limited point of view, knowing the thoughts and actions of the story’s protagonist. Gain the perspective of another character — Tom’s wife, a passerby on the street below, his boss — by rewriting a particular passage or by conducting a mock interview.