Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's Your Point of View

Christy gave me a great opening yesterday.  She talked about a writing exercise she did in Clint’s class. Clint asked participants to write a story from more than one point of view.  I love this idea. I do the same thing when I teach writing in elementary classrooms.

I use this exercise when I teach about voice.  I use one of my stories called Grudge Rock.  The kids always love this story.  After I read it, we talk about the characters.  Walker is the main character, and he is definitely having a bad day.  We talk about his personality and his attitude.  Most of the kids can identify with him. 

Next we talk about Jake.  Jake used to be Walker’s best friend, but not anymore.  Jake tripped Walker in basketball game at recess and scored just as the bell rang.  Did Jake trip Walker on purpose?  Walker thinks he did.

How would the story sound if Jake was telling it?  The kids see right away that Jake wouldn’t tell the story in the same way.  His personality is different.  His attitude is different, and most importantly his point of view is different.

Point of View is part of voice.  Jake and Walker have completely different points of view.  Though they were playing basketball together, their experiences were different.

I love reading what the kids write when they tell the story from Jake’s point of view.  Some kids see Jake as bewildered.  He doesn’t have a clue why Walker is mad.  Other’s see Jake as a kid who thinks Walker is just a whiner, who needs to grow up.

The kids love it and It’s really fun to see what they come up with.

What’s your point of view?

Linda Garner


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