Activity Types: Differing View Point Stories

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What are Point of View Stories?

Annenburg Media's web site: Literature: Exploring Points of View explains point of view in this manner:

An automobile accident occurs. Two drivers are involved. Witnesses include four sidewalk spectators, a policeman, a man with a video camera who happened to be shooting the scene, and the pilot of a helicopter that was flying overhead. Here we have nine different points of view and, most likely, nine different descriptions of the accident.

In short fiction, who tells the story and how it is told are critical issues for an author to decide. The tone and feel of the story, and even its meaning, can change radically depending on who is telling the story,

Remember, someone is always between the reader and the action of the story. That someone is telling the story from his or her own point of view. This angle of vision, the point of view from which the people, events, and details of a story are viewed, is important to consider when reading a story.

In the classroom, point of view stories are created by having more than one person observe an event, then collect the re-telling of the recollections by these individuals into a PowerPoint presentation or video editing program. For example, three students may be assigned to attend a parade, school event, or meeting and then create a report about their observations from the event. A "point of view" story is then created from all three reports.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Excellent introduction to reporting or journalistic writing
  • Great group work activity
  • Students can use the activity to create authentic accounts of relevant events

Disadvantages for use in the classroom:

  • Students may need guidance in recording observations
  • Students need to be prepared for writing together from separate accounts

Examples:

Student Example: Point of View

Try the Point of View online game from PBS Kids!

Check out the Point of View exercise from VirtuaLit!

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu