How do you teach point of view to your students? It’s one of the most important concepts we can teach because it helps our kiddos take other people’s experiences, feelings, and life situations into account. In other words, empathy!
A great way to teach point of view is by using high quality, engaging mentor texts. Here are my picks for the best mentor texts to use in the classroom:
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A classic for exploring point of view, Voices in the Park tells the same story from four different people’s perspectives. All four enter the same park, the same scene, but each person has a wildly different point of view. As the perspective shifts from the bossy woman to the sad man to the lonely boy, and then to the kind young girl, the landscapes and seasons also shift. There are a ton of important themes here to explore alongside your students!
Goldfish lives an average, solitary life, swimming around his fish bowl by himself. One day, his space is invaded by a whole host of new creatures. In this book, Goldfish has to examine what it’s like to live among others and questions whether he really does prefer to be on his own.
Kids love this story! Duncan wakes up one day ready to color, only to see that his crayons are missing! Instead, he finds a series of letters from each color, sharing why they’ve gone on strike. Blue is worn out from all those lake and ocean drawings; Yellow and Orange are fighting over who is the true color of the sun; Black wants more to do other than just outlining. It’s fun to explore the different perspectives of each color!
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten
These books both flip traditional children stories upside down. In each story, we hear from the “bad guy” who tells us his side of things. I love reading these, then revisiting the traditional stories and asking students to reflect on whose point of view they agree with.
This is a fun story about a girl who tries everything to make her parents view things from her perspective: she needs earrings! This is great for examining persuasion techniques as well.
For more tips and tricks on how to use mentor texts in the classroom, check out this blog post, as well as my ready-to-use set of writing prompts: Mentor Texts Writing Prompts – Point of View.
What texts do you use to teach point of view? Drop some titles in the comments! I love getting new suggestions.