In fifth grade we are working on point of view in fiction stories. We discussed the difference between first person and third person in literature. We practiced determining who was telling the story and pulling evidence that supports that point of view.
This week we read a story together called Peter's Chair. It is told in third person by a narrator. The story is about a boy who has a baby sister. Peter watches his parents take his furniture and paint it pink. The narrator does not include many of Peter's thoughts or feelings, so we decided to take this story and change the perspective from which it is told.
The first step in this process was to write a diary entry as if they were Peter. We talked a lot about what a diary entry looks like and what information is included. This activity is setting up the students for the next task because it is asking them to tap into the emotions that they believe Peter was having throughout the story and his thoughts about the events taking place. These are key details that we get when a story is told in first person. Writing a diary entry is a good way for the students to talk about the character's thoughts and feelings before trying to rewrite the story from a different point of view.
Here is an example of a student diary entry written as if she were Peter. What I love most about this entry is the editing and revising that was done completely on her own! The arrows that you see are the key details she felt her entry was lacking after rereading it.
The students also took this lesson and applied it to their own reading during reader's workshop. Here is an example of a student applying point of view in their own reading.
Our next step is to rewrite the story from Peter's point of view. They will be able to use the thoughts and emotions that they wrote about in the diary entry to add to the story.