Comparing & Contrasting Point of View in Stories: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Point of View in Stories
  • 0:38 Types of Points of View
  • 1:50 Similarities & Differences
  • 2:30 Examples
  • 3:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

If you've ever wondered who was narrating a story you were reading, you were thinking about point of view. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the types of point of view and explore the similarities and differences among them.

Point of View in Stories

Say you open Judy Blume's story, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and see the following text:

''I won Dribble at Jimmy Fargo's birthday party… I won him because I guessed there were three hundred and forty-eight jelly beans in Mrs. Fargo's jar. 'Peter Warren Hatcher is the big winner!' Mrs. Fargo announced.''

You can tell by reading this short passage who is telling the story. When you figure out who is telling a story, you are talking about point of view. The main character in Judy Blume's story Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is Peter. He tells the story.

Let's find out more about points of view.

Types of Point of View

First Person

First person point of view is when a character in a story tells about his or her own experiences.

Hint: Look for the pronouns 'I' and 'we.'

For example: ''Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing'' is in the first person because Peter tells the story from his view.

Second Person

Second person point of view is when a story is being told to 'you' or an audience. This point of view is not used as often.

Hint: Look for the word 'you.'

Example: This lesson on point of view is in the second person. Someone wrote it for you!

Third Person

Third person point of view is when the narrator is not in the story; a person outside the story tells it.

Hint: Look for the pronouns 'he,' 'she,' 'they,' and 'it.'

There are actually three third person points of view. In third person objective, the narrator tells the story as an observer, adding no character thoughts. In third person limited, the narrator tells the story from the viewpoint of one character, describing that character's feelings and thoughts. In third person omniscient, the narrator knows everything in the story and can describe each character's thoughts and behaviors.

Examples of third person in literature include Holes by Louis Sachar and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Similarities and Differences

Both first and third person points of view describe a character in a story. However, in the first person, the character is the one describing the experiences. In the third person, someone outside of the story is describing a character and may not always include thoughts and feelings.

Here is a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two types of point of view.

Compare Contrast

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