Teaching Point of View in Literature Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: Teaching Point of View in Literature


Don’t just teach students a list of terms to memorize. Teach them how to implement point of view in their writing.


A New Point of View

After teaching students how to write for an audience and with a purpose, I felt good about myself once again. I called my college professor and told him what a great job I was doing. Then I realized I had not done a good job teaching point of view. In shock, I called my professor back, cussed him out, called the university registrar, demanded a refund, called my travel agent, and cancelled my weekend flight to the Dominican Republic.

I had work to do. I had to devise a lesson plan about teaching point of view. Here’s what I came up with.

Feel free to download this point of view lesson plan before continuing.

Common Core Standards

Teaching point of view satisfies the following ELA Common Core Standards.
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.
L.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
RL.9-10.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
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.
W.9-10.5  Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of L.9-10.1-3.)

Getting Started

Point of View Lesson Plans

These steps will get your point of view lesson off to a good start.

  1. Show two sample passages: one written in first person point of view; one written in third person point of view.
  2. Instruct students to determine points of view by identifying pronouns used by the narrator.
  3. Discuss why one point of view would be more effective than the other, and what the individual weaknesses of each point of view are.
  4. Discussion should cover the following ideas: 1) Point of view is the position from which the narrator views its subject; 2) First person point of view is the more limited, giving only one vantage point. It does, however, forge a bond between reader and narrator; 3) Third person point of view is more versatile.

Two Point of View Lesson Options

These procedures will have students applying their knowledge of literature and involves revising essays.

Option 1

  • Instruct students to read their drafts and answer the following questions: What point of view did you use? How do you know? Which character tells the story? Why did you choose this particular point of view?
  • Students must consider audience and purpose and determine which point of view would be more effective for the intended audience.
  • Instruct students to rewrite their first paragraph in a different point of view.
  • In groups of 2-4, instruct each student to read both versions. Group members will help determine which point of view works better.
  • For assessment, collect both paragraphs and evaluate them based on how well they used each point of view.

Option 2

  • Assign groups of four.
  • Assign each group a different scene.
  • Each person in the group will write from a different point of view: 1st person, third person omniscient, third person limited, or third person dramatic.
  • Have groups evaluate the most effective point of view.
  • Read it to the class.

Teaching the Elements of Literature

Understanding literary elements is necessary for literary analysis.  These short stories will help you teach literary elements.

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