Explaining the Concept
When teaching point of view, the teacher must first explain the concept of point of view to their students.
Writers must stick with first- or third-person point of view. I always encourage my students to ask themselves: Is this essay about you? If they answer “yes,” then they need to stick with first-person point of view. If students answer “no” and decide that the essay is not about them, they need to write in third-person point of view. In other words, if students are writing in third-person point of view, then they should avoid those words that constitute first-person point of view: I, me, myself, mine, we, our.
Once students determine what point of view they are writing in, teachers should explain to students that they should not shift needlessly from one point of view to another point of view.
- Create a worksheet with ten passages on it.
- Make each passage about four sentences, and in the passage, write three sentences written in first-person point of view and one sentence written in third-person point of view.
- At the end of each passage, ask the following question: Which of the sentences contained in the passage displays an inconsistent use of point of view when compared to the other sentences in the paragraph? Or, in which sentence in the passage is there a shift in point of view?
- Discuss answers.
- Sentences that appeal to student interests make the best examples.
Evaluation and Remediation
I usually count this activity as a daily grade, and I make students show me that they understand what consistent point of view is. From ten questions, it will be quite obvious which students understand the concept and which students are struggling with the concept.
For those who miss more than three, those students will take the ten original passages and rewrite them, displaying a consistent point of view throughout the entire passage.