Point of View Rewrite Activity for the Review Win

November 20, 2019

This quick activity for reviewing point of view requires zero preparation for the teacher and will have students giggling as they talk about themselves in the third person.
I've written about the activities and texts I use to teach point of view in the past, but wanted to also share a quick activity I used this past year to review point of view.

For sixth graders, point of view isn't a new concept, but students definitely need reinforcement of the types of point of view and the differences between them. I introduce second person and third person objective, but I focus on first person, third person omniscient, and third person limited. Last year, we started working with point of view before the winter holidays, so I wanted to do an activity that would ease students back into learning while also acknowledging their time away from school. 

For their bell work assignment, students were instructed to write just five to seven sentences about what they did over break (you could easily change break to the weekend). Students were allowed to write about what they actually did, what they wished they did, or some fantastical combination of the two as I know breaks are not necessarily filled with excitement or happiness for all students.

This quick activity for reviewing point of view requires zero preparation for the teacher and will have students giggling as they talk about themselves in the third person.
After writing for five minutes, I asked students what point of view they had used to write and we listed all of the first person pronouns they had used in their writing. Then we reviewed the definitions of third person limited and omniscient and the differences between them as well as third person pronouns.

Then students had a choice of rewriting their 5-7 sentences in either third person omniscient or third person limited point of view and adding or removing details as necessary to make their new point of view clear. I set the original limit of 5-7 sentences so that the rewrite stage would not be unmanageable.

Finally, students volunteered to share their writing while their peers had to identify which type of third person point of view was used and give evidence of how they made their determination. The sharing out was another reason I limited the amount students could write. I wanted to be able to hear from as many students as possible. I always allow students to designate someone else to read their writing aloud for them.

This activity was a win for so many reasons. It required zero preparation for me and was a low stake first assignment as students readjusted to being back at school. The activity allowed students to share about their time off, which many are excited to do. Plus, for some reason, talking about yourself in third person makes everything more entertaining, so students other than my typical sharers volunteered to read their writing.

This quick activity for reviewing point of view requires zero preparation for the teacher and will have students giggling as they talk about themselves in the third person.

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