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Identifying the Narrator of a Text: Lesson for Kids

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Instructor: Tawnya Eash

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

If you ever think about who's telling the story, you're trying to figure out the narrator. In this lesson, you'll learn about the three different point of views in which a story can be told. So, let's search for ways to find the narrator's identity. Updated: 06/13/2022

The Narrator

Let's examine an excerpt from The Call of the Wild by Jack London and think about who could be telling the story:

''Buck was neither house-dog nor kennel-dog. The whole realm was his. He plunged into the swimming tank or went hunting with the Judge's sons; he escorted Mollie and Alice, the Judge's daughters, on long twilight or early morning rambles; on wintry nights he lay at the Judge's feet before the roaring library fire; he carried the Judge's grandsons on his back, or rolled them in the grass, and guarded their footsteps through wild adventures down to the fountain in the stable yard, and even beyond, where the paddocks were, and the berry patches.''

Now, consider the following questions:

  • Is the person telling the story in the story?
  • Is the person telling the story someone outside of the story?
  • What pronouns are being used?

If you figured out that the narrator is someone outside of the story, you know it's in third person! A narrator is someone who tells the story. A narrator can tell a story in three different points of view.

You can identify these by looking for pronouns. A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. In the previous example, the narrator isn't a character in the story. The pronouns ''I'' and ''we'' aren't used. Instead, the narrator uses ''he'' and ''his.'' Let's now investigate how to determine narrators!

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  • 0:04 The Narrator
  • 1:30 Point of View: First Person
  • 2:17 Second & Third Person
  • 3:42 Lesson Summary
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Point of View: First Person

The point of view is a way of telling a story from the narrator's perspective. The three types of point of view each have their own way of telling a story. Let's take a look.

You know a story is in first person when the character himself or herself is telling the story. The narrator is often, but not always, the main character. This chart on first person gives you more information:

First person point of view chart
First Person

Let's look at another example:

''It was the first time I ever performed on stage. Our school was having a talent show. My talent was juggling five, large, plastic rings at a time. My heart felt like it was going to sink as the announcer said my name.''

You can tell this is first person because of the pronouns: ''I,'' ''our,'' and ''my.''

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