This term, I’m working with one of the grade six classes on writing from different points of view, skills which they will later apply to a unit on immigration they are working on in social studies. Each week, I have been reading one of these books and the students have been practicing short writing pieces. I have been searching for different anchor books which can be used for introducing Point of View to the class so thought it would be a great topic for this week’s Top Ten List! Many of these you will likely have or know… but there may be a few new titles for you!
1.Voices in the Park – Anthony Browne
Possibly the best book for teaching point of view – four “voices” tell their version of a walk in the park. Anthony Browne is a master of telling a story without telling too much but leaving the reader a lot of spaces to think. He also leaves clues in his illustrations that help tell the story. I also love using this book for teaching inferring.
2.The Teddy Bear – David McPhail
This heart-felt story of a boy who loses his favorite teddy and the homeless man who finds and loves it is a perfect one for having students write in first person from the different characters’ perspective. I even had them write from the teddy bear’s point of view!
3. The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt
When you first see the crayons, you may think the story is too young for your middle grade students – WRONG! This story is filled with sophisticated humour that could be a little over the heads of some younger students. I used this book to explain how different points of view can often reveal personality. A great anchor book for writing, too!
4. Seven Blind Mice – Ed Young
Different points of view often depends on the perspective, connections and vantage point of the character. In this clever book based on a classic South Asian tale, seven blind mice investigate the “strange something” in the Pond. Each one views one portion and comes back with their theory. It is only when the seventh mouse views the “whole something” that the truth is revealed.
5. Hey, Little Ant – Phillip and Hannah Hoose
To squish or not to squish? – that is the question. Love this story, told in two voices; a conversation between the “squisher” and the potential “squish-ee”. Perfect for discussing perspectives.
School’s First Day of School – Adam Rex
This was one of my favorite new “back to school” books this fall! A unique look at the nervousness and excitement about the start of the school year, told from the point of view of the school!
6. They All Saw A Cat – Brendan Wenzel
Brilliant and simple! With each turn of the page, the reader is given the opportunity to also see how the cat is viewed from perspectives – from a bee, to a fox, to a child. Bright, colorful illustrations. After I finished reading it to the grade class, they wanted me to read it again! I predict this book may be on a few award lists this year!
7. I am the Dog, I am the Cat – Donald Hall
Another perfect anchor book for point of view, as the contrasting voices of hilarious, affectionate companions converse together. Gorgeous illustrations and beautiful words and I love the recognizable qualities of both animals that come through. Kids love this book!
9. The Pain and the Great One – Judy Blume
An eight year old girl and her six year old brother take turns describing each other. Hilarious and another great example of different points of view, as well as a perfect connect book!
10. Two Bad Ants – Chris Van Alsburg
If you have not read this clever book by the amazing Chris Van Alsburg, you should! I never get tired of reading this book aloud to students. Two Bad Ants allows the reader to experience the world through two mischievous ants’ point of view as they explore a kitchen. Ah-mazing, spell-binding, genius!
8. The Wolf Story: What Really Happened to Little Red Riding Hood – Toby Forward
A funny, fractured fairy tale that replays the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s point of view. This would be a great anchor book for re-writing a fairy tale from different points of view.
11. The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be – Mini Grey
Another clever version of a fairy tale, this one told from the point of view of the pea! Very witty!
Thanks for stopping by! What is your favorite book to teach Point of View?