Innovative
Classroom

Perspectives in Writing

Writing Lesson Plan

Objectives
Students will understand that writing can be done from many different perspectives. They will write short stories about the same subject using varying viewpoints.

Materials
a painting, picture, or photograph that has more than one character (ex: The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt or Gare Saint-Lazare by Edouard Manet)

Procedure

  1. Present your selected picture to the class. Ask students what they think is happening in the picture. How might the characters be related? What was the painter trying to portray? What is the mood? How does the painter make us feel that mood?
  2. Discuss the individual characters in the picture. If they were each going to talk about the day, would they say the same things? Using The Boating Party as an example ask students what the mother might be thinking as opposed to the father. What might the baby be thinking?
  3. Introduce the idea of personification and discuss it as being a possible perspective. Talk about the day from the oars' perspective or the boat's, or the man's hands.
  4. Third person: What might an outsider think? How might the story differ if they tell it? What is the effect when a story is narrated as opposed to it being told from one person's viewpoint?
  5. Have students write a story about the painting from 3 different viewpoints that they choose. Urge them to use conversation in at least one of their variations.

Closure
Have students share their versions of the story with the class. Notice the differences in viewpoints and have students reflect on the concept of perspective.

Evaluation
Were students able to write story "correctly" from differing viewpoints? Are they using more variety in their writing in general?

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