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McREL Standards Activity


A New Point of View


Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will have a deeper understanding of character’s point of view in a literary work.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
Language Arts
 Standard 1.Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 2. Drafting and Revising: Uses a variety of strategies to draft and revise written work (e.g., analyzes and clarifies meaning, makes structural and syntactical changes, uses an organizational scheme, uses sensory words and figurative language, rethinks and rewrites for different audiences and purposes, checks for a consistent point of view and for transitions between paragraphs, uses direct feedback to revise compositions, eliminates redundancy in writing)
Language Arts
 Standard 1.Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 12. Writes in response to literature (e.g., responds to significant issues in a log or journal, answers discussion questions, anticipates and answers a reader’s questions, writes a summary of a book, describes an initial impression of a text, connects knowledge from a text with personal knowledge, states an interpretive, evaluative, or reflective position; draws inferences about the effects of the work on an audience)
Language Arts
 Standard 6.Uses skills and strategies to read a variety of literary texts
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 3. Understands complex elements of plot development (e.g., cause-and-effect relationships; use of subplots, parallel episodes, and climax; development of conflict and resolution)
Language Arts
 Standard 6.Uses skills and strategies to read a variety of literary texts
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 4. Understands elements of character development (e.g., character traits and motivations; stereotypes; relationships between character and plot development; development of characters through their words, speech patterns, thoughts, actions, narrator’s description, and interaction with other characters; how motivations are revealed)
Student Product:A scene from a short story, play, or novel rewritten from the point of view of a different character
Material & Resources:Sample scenes from a literary work
Teacher's Note:This activity can be used with any story that is not written using an omniscient narrator.  Teachers should ensure that students choose a character that does not already have a voice in the scene selected for retelling.  The teacher may also want to show students examples of scenes written from two different points of view, such as a comparison of a scene that appears in both in Wicked and The Wizard of Oz since this will provide an example of the exercise.  
Activity
First, the teacher introduces or reviews the literary term “point of view” with students, providing examples of how a particular character’s thoughts and perceptions are portrayed. The teacher selects a literary work that the students are currently reading or have finished reading. The teacher provides the student with a list of scenes from the literary work. The student chooses a scene that he or she wants to rewrite. The teacher directs students to carefully analyze the scenes in terms of plot and character. Students then choose a character who has a role in the scene or is a witness to it, but the character should not have a major role in the scene. While rewriting the scene, students consider ways in which they can best convey the events or elements of the scene through the eyes of another character. In this way, they determine the minor character’s point of view and analyze the effects of the scene on other characters, the plot, or on the literary work as a whole.  Once they have completed the scene rewrite, students discuss why they made the decisions they did regarding what was included or excluded in the rewrite and how their rewrite differs from the original.