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Lesson Plan: Teaching Point of View

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 9/20/2012

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

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    The Important of POV

    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.

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    Getting Started

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

    Option 1: Help Students Revise

    • 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 POV 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 viewworks better.
    • For assessment, collect both paragraphs and evaluate them based on how well they used each point of view.

    Option 2: Help Students Rewrite Literature

    • Assign groups of four.
    • Assign each group a different scene.
    • Each person in the group will write from a different point of view: first 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.


  • Originally Created October 17, 2008