First Person Teacher Resources
Find First Person educational ideas and activities
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I, the basket: Writing a first-person story as an inanimate object
Don't just teach your ELA class about point-of-view, get them writing! Read the illustrated book I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket to your class and discuss how the story is told from the first-person point of view of an inanimate object: a basket. Use the included worksheets, pictures, and research activities to get your class further exploring this style of creative writing. By the end of these four days of planned activities, your young writers will be able to tackle their own first-person narrative!
Personal Narrative Writing Prompts and Writing in First Person
Part of the Read 180 curriculum for English language learners, this plan prompts writers to sharpen their skills. They select one of four listed personal narrative writing prompts to complete and respond to six questions that require them to review how to write with a first person point of view.
Exploring First-Person Female Narratives Related to Sherman's March to the Sea
“First-Person Narratives of the American South,” a collection of primary source materials, offer class members a chance to compare the views of two women who experienced Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea. Using the provided worksheet, groups focus their comparisons on the women’s views on slavery, their experience of the march, or their beliefs. For the male perspective of this event a link to the journal of George Washington Baker is provided.
Writing and Grammar Strategies: Personal Narrative and Writing in the First Person
In this personal narratives worksheet, students are given 4 writing prompts for a personal narrative and are directed to write about a time they spent with family members, or write about a time they learned to do something new, or write about something they do for fun. Students then answer 5 fill in the blank questions where they provide first person pronouns to complete sentences.
Exploring First Person Female Narratives Related to Sherman's March to the Sea
Students examine perspectives of the Civil War. In this Civil War lesson, students read first person narratives of the Civil War from 2 women on the homefront. Students compare and contrast the narratives of the women with one another. Students may also compare them their points of view with that of a male.
A Tale to Tell!
A creative spin occurs when one pupil acts as author Ann M. Martin. Using a Q & A at the back of her book A Dog's Life, other classmates ask the "author" questions. They discuss the reasons why they know the book is from a first-person perspective. Next, individuals write a tale told from an animal's point of view. They then create a computer-generated story using what they've written.
I, the basket: Writing a first-person story as an inanimate object
Analyze photographs and make inferences about the lives of the people depicted in them. Individuals will exhibit their understanding of first-person narratives when they then use this information as a basis for writing a children's story from the perspective of an inanimate object. Creative and engaging way to practice first-person writing!
Differentiate Between Different Points of View
The instructions for a lesson on the difference in point of view in writing are straightforward and easy for the educator to implement and modify—and for the pupils to understand. It efficiently organizes how to differentiate between first person, third-person objective, third-person limited, and third-person omniscient point of views in all types of writing. Three resources are available, but one must submit an e-mail address. details
Bambara's The Lesson
Twelfth graders read the short story The Lesson. They research the socio-economic and cultural context of the story and author. They examine the author's point of view. They analyze the first person narration in the story. They rewrite two paragraphs of the story from a different point of view.
Changing the Point of View
Fourth graders identify the point of view. In this point of view lesson students compare and contrast the point of view from third person omniscient and first person. Students rewrite a paragraph in an alternative point of view.
Taking the Witness Stand
Students identify a pivotal event in world history that they would have liked to have witnessed. They then research this event and write a first-person account of it as if they had been present. Their first-prerson account is modeled after an article they read by Richard Berstein on events in Afghanistan.
The Feudal System: Castles At War
Young scholars create a first person account of life in the middle ages from the perspective of a king, noble, knight or peasant. They view and discuss a Discovery Channel video then research the roles and responsibilities of their class level and what daily life may have been like for a person of that station.
Does a Picture Always Say a Thousand Words?
Students read and discuss "Enigmatic Portraits of Teen-Agers Free of All Context," then choose a photograph and write a first-person narrative from the perspective of the subject.
Genre Lesson: Biography/Autobiography
Is it a biography or an autobiography? Kids discover point of view as they listen to you tell a story about yourself (first person) and then hear two volunteers retell the story: one to you (second person) and one to them (third person). They apply these concepts, comparing and contrasting biographies and autobiographies. Use the lecture notes to explain prefixes in each word and context strategies to define a passage as one of the two genres. There are two short passage examples you can use. Do one together, asking kids to point out clue words that helped them identify the genre. As an added extension, find a reading packet for The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball; kids begin by deciding the genre and can continue completing the packet as they read.
First Person: Diversity in Video Gaming
High schoolers explore the relationship between video games and actual population. Example: A 2005 study showed Latino youth play at higher rates than other groups, but there are no Latino playable characters. They watch a brief video about race and popular game characters, read about stereotyping, and research demographics. They then take an eye-opening online quiz (link is tricky, but worth finding), examine diversity in game genres, and design a game that mirrors their own experience.
"The Tell-Tale Heart"- It's a Matter of Point of View
How does the point of view of Poe's protagonist in "The Tell-Tale Heart" contribute to the suspenseful tone? Help your middle schoolers identify the point of view in a literary work with this lesson plan, which goes on to discuss the limitations of first-person point of view. Consider adding this lesson plan to your unit on point of view, or around Halloween to give your readers a chill!
The Living Museum: George Washington, the Slave Owner
Eighth graders bring early America to life. In this George Washington lesson, 8th graders listen to a lecture about the first president, explore the relationships he had with his slaves, and research the backgrounds of some of his slaves. Students write and present first-person narratives in costume and character based on their findings.
Once Upon a Time: Writing Stories about Reading
Students read a New York Times article to examine strong first person voice in essays about reading. They write their own first person essays about some aspect of reading, participate in peer review, and re-writing.
Getting Fired Up
Students explore first-person accounts of volcanic eruptions throughout time and use second-hand information about volcanoes. They use both types of accounts to write news articles covering the events of a historic volcanic eruption as it unfolded.
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Students write a first-person narrative from the perspective of a runaway slave, or a historical character of the period, and present their story orally.