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Identifying Your Point of View: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Ashley Davis

Ashley has taught first, fourth, and fifth grades and holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

What is point of view? How can you determine the point of view from which a story is told? Can your point of view be different from the narrator's point of view? Let's explore the answers to these and other questions in this lesson.

Point of View

Have you ever disagreed with a friend about something that happened? When explaining what happened to someone else, do your stories match? Some things might be the same, but not everything. That's because we all see things differently and have our own point of view!

As a literary term, point of view is the author or narrator's way of seeing and presenting something in a story, article or other text. But as a reader, you create your own point of view. You may agree with the author or you may disagree!

The key to identifying your own point of view is to think critically and ask yourself questions about what you're reading, such as:

  • What do I know about this topic?
  • How does the author or narrator feel?
  • Is this similar or different from what I feel and believe?

By answering these questions and thinking critically about a text, you can successfully identify your point of view. Let's explore how to identify your point of view in fictional and non-fiction texts.

Fiction Texts

A story can be told from the point of view of a character or of a narrator that isn't even in the story. You will have to determine the point of view by the actions and words of the characters and narrator. Let's look at an excerpt from The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.

...I felt a sneeze coming on. Well I huffed. And I snuffed. And I sneezed a great sneeze. And you know what? That whole darn straw house fell down. And right in the middle of the pile of straw was the First Little Pig-dead as a doornail. He had been home the whole time. It seemed a shame to leave a perfectly good ham dinner lying there in the straw. So I ate it up.

Do you agree with the point of view of A. Wolf?
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Start by determining the point of view of the narrator, Mr. A. Wolf. He feels that the story of The Three Little Pigs is just a misunderstanding. The house only fell down because he sneezed--he didn't mean to blow the house down, and since the pig was already dead, he wasn't going to waste a perfectly good dinner.

Now, think about what you already know about the story. Does your prior knowledge help you to agree or disagree with A. Wolf? How do you think things really happened that day? Ask tough questions like these to help identify your own point of view.

Non-Fiction Texts

In non-fiction texts, the author is generally the narrator. To understand the narrator's point of view, you need to identify his or her opinion. Opinions are feelings about a subject that aren't supported by facts. When reading, there are some key words that can help you identify when an author is expressing an opinion, such as:

  • Very
  • Always
  • Important
  • Never
  • Unfair
  • Beautiful
  • Ugly
  • Good
  • Bad

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