Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Middle Grades: Understanding Point of View Part II

 CCRL.6.6: Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker of the text.
CCRL.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

EQ: How to determine the point of view of a text, and the author's purpose for writing the text?

Today, the students have created a chart with the elements for three different point of views in literature: first person, second person, third person (third person limited and third person omniscient) from the previous lesson. We will use this chart to help with the lesson today.

  • Pre-selected narratives written by the students will be delivered. I told my students that I was going to read the narratives tonight and choose the three strongest ones to be shared with the class. 
  • The audience will have to figure out what point if view the story was written from. The student who wrote the narrative must tell the class why he/she chose that point of view and the purpose behind it.

  • Next- We will work through the following texts together. They will have to read and annotate the stories first.

  • Then, each student will be given a handout that must be filled in throughout our lesson on point of view, pronouns, author's purpose, and textual evidence to support their ideas.
Find the handout at the following link:

Texts will include:
  • "I Am Alone" by Cochise
Background: The man we know as Cochise was a leader of the Chiricahua Apaches, one of the four main Apache groups. The Apaches, who frequently were raiders of sheep, cattle, and horses, became the concern of the Americans when, after the end of the Mexican war in 1848, they took control of their homelands in Arizona and New Mexico. As the ever-advancing whites increasingly moved into Apache territory, a series of "wars" between the settlers and the various Apache groups broke out around 1860 and did not end until the capture in 1886 of the great Chiricahua leader Geronimo.
                                                                                       ~The Norton Anthology: American Literature


by Cochise, Chief of the Apache Nation
     This for a very long time has been the home of my people; they came from the darkness, few in numbers and feeble. We were a hunting people, living on the animals that we could kill. We came to these mountains about us; no one lived here, and so we took them for our home and country. Here we grew from the first feeble band to be a great people, and covered the whole country as the clouds cover the mountains. Many people came to our country. First, the Spanish, with their horses and their iron shirts, their long knives and guns, great wonders to my simple people. We fought some, but they never tried to drive us from our homes in these mountains. After many years the Spanish soldiers were driven away, and the Mexican ruled the land. With these little wars came, but we were now a strong people, and we did not fear them. At last in my youth came the white man, your people. Under the counsels of my grandfather, who had for a very long time been the head of the Apaches, they were received with friendship. Soon their numbers increased and many passed through my country to the great waters of the setting sun.
     Your soldiers came, and their strong houses were all through my country. I received favors from your people and did all that I could in return and we lived at peace. At last your soldiers did me a very great wrong, and I and my whole people went to war with them. At first we were successful and your soldiers were driven away and your people killed and we again possessed our land. Soon many soldiers came from the north and from the west, and my people were driven to the mountain hiding places; but these did not protect us, and soon my people were flying from one mountain to another, driven by the soldiers, even as the wind is now driving the clouds. I have fought long and as best I could against you. I have destroyed many of your people, but where I have destroyed one white man many have come in his place; but where an Indian has been killed, there has been none to come in his place, so that the great people that welcomed you with acts of kindness to this land are now but a feeble band that fly before your soldiers as the deer before the hunter, and must all perish if this war continues.


     I have come to you, not from any love for you or for your great father in Washington, or from any regard for his or your wishes, but as a conquered chief, to try to save the few people that still remain to me. I am the last of my family, a family that for very many years have been the leaders of this people, and on me depends their future, whether they shall utterly vanish from the land or that a small remnant remain for a few years to see the sun rise over these mountains, their home. I here pledge my word, a word that has never been broken, that if your great father will set aside a part of my own country, where I and my little band can live, we will remain at peace with your people forever. If from his abundance he will give food for my women and children, whose protectors his soldiers have killed, with blankets to cover their nakedness, I will receive them with gratitude. If not, I will do my best to feed and clothe them, in peace with the white man. I have spoken.
  •  "Advice for Little Girls" by Mark Twain

"Advice To Little Girls"
by Mark Twain
Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.
If you have nothing but a rag-doll stuffed with sawdust, while one of your more fortunate little playmates has a costly China one, you should treat her with a show of kindness nevertheless. And you ought not to attempt to make a forcible swap with her unless your conscience would justify you in it, and you know you are able to do it.
You ought never to take your little brother's "chewing-gum" away from him by main force; it is better to rope him in with the promise of the first two dollars and a half you find floating down the river on a grindstone. In the artless simplicity natural to this time of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction. In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction has lured the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster.
If at any time you find it necessary to correct your brother, do not correct him with mud--never, on any account, throw mud at him, because it will spoil his clothes. It is better to scald him a little, for then you obtain desirable results. You secure his immediate attention to the lessons you are inculcating, and at the same time your hot water will have a tendency to move impurities from his person, and possibly the skin, in spots.
If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterward act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your best judgment.
You should ever bear in mind that it is to your kind parents that you are indebted for your food, and for the privilege of staying home from school when you let on that you are sick. Therefore you ought to respect their little prejudices, and humor their little whims, and put up with their little foibles until they get to crowding you too much.
Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged. You ought never to "sass" old people unless they "sass" you first.

  •  An excerpt from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted only of five all together, – Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man.
Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a-year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.
Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters.

 Hopefully, the students will gain a true understanding of point of view, and why it is important in understanding a text.



1 comment:

middlegradesteacher said...

middlegradesteacherNovember 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM

This lesson went very well overall. The students enjoy the comparing and contrasting of the video clips with the text. The lesson also offered some back ground knowledge of the times, which was great. I am so glad that I took the time to do the American History review, because I really think that it paid off. My students are able to connect the dots. Also, having the United States map with them has been helpful too. Anytime a state is referenced I tell them to get out their maps and locate it. So, I am able to teach across curriculums. I also have enjoyed this lesson, because I love American literature. The students are connecting with it, too.

I had one young student run up to me exclaiming, "Mrs. Farmer, I was watching an episode of CSI last night, and there was a scene where the characters went to have coffee at the Edgar Allan Poe Café and all the waitresses were dressed like ravens!"
She was so excited to make that connection. That is why knowledge of American literature is so important for life. It is referenced in so many different contemporary art forms like television. It helps our students to be more literate.
I had another student tell me this week that his grandfather was playing "John Henry", a Johnny Cash song. The student began telling his grandfather all about the song and what it meant. His grandfather asked, "How do you know all about Johnny Cash?" He responded by saying that he learned about it in Mrs. Farmer's class.

What treasures for me as their teacher! I love that what they learn in my class can bring them closer with their families, and enrich their lives. That is the awesomeness of being a teacher.

Also-- the kids are learning, too! They took a test over the vocabulary today, and both of the classes showed a 20% plus improvement from the pre-test. So, they are on their way. In a couple more weeks, they should have fully mastered the standards for unit 2.

Planning is strenuous sometimes. However, it is well worth the fruit that it produces! :-)