A Lesson Before Dying: Narrative and Point of View

This A Lesson Before Dying: Narrative and Point of View lesson plan also includes:

How can a character's point of view influence the way a story is told? Explore the intricacies of narrative with the third lesson in a unit about A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. In a discussion about Grant Wiggins and his participation (or lack thereof) in the story, kids analyze why the author chose him to be the narrator instead of other characters, and how the book would be different if it had another narrator. They use this discussion to frame their writing assignment, which prompts them to choose either another character or a third-person reporter, and to rewrite the trial from that point of view. For homework, they read the next few chapters and list each character's current motivation.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Multitude of assignments and activities enable kids to work through several class periods, or condense their work to one class
Pros

  • A great discussion and writing activity about point of view that you could apply to any novel or short story
  • Prompts kids to think about elements in a story as choices made by the author
  • All auxiliary materials are included as URLs and in a zip file
Cons

  • None