On the Outside Looking In

Susan Howard, Brandy Garrett, Joey Mulholland, Kathee Myers

Students will be able to identify different points of view within a piece of literature. Third grade students will be able to identify points of view, fourth grade students will be able to compare and contrast different points of view and fifth grade students will be able to describe how a point of view influences how events are described. Students will then represent their knowledge and understanding of point of view through visual art.
1. Why is point of view important when comprehending a story?
2. How can we understand point of view through the art of making books?
3. Characters bring different experiences with them. How do those experiences change the way characters personally view events within a story?
4. How are language and visual art related to each other?


Large (18”X24”) paper (student grade water color paper or print making paper. Size of paper could vary, based on student needs.)
Assorted papers (scrapbook, construction paper, wrapping paper, recycled books, magazines, newspapers)
Assorted brushes, foam, bristle
White glue
Mat board or book board cut to size for covers
Waxed paper


1. This activity will come after previous direct instruction on point of view, author’s purpose and characters within a literature text.
2. During the course of a read aloud text, the teacher will focus on how characters have different points of view. (If necessary, a shorter picture book with rich characters could be used for this same activity.) Depending on the grade level and text being read aloud, the teacher will guide a class discussion on characters within the text. (Teacher will model or create an anchor chart to illustrate this.)
3. Students will be divided into groups of two. Each student will choose a character to focus on. (The best choices would be characters that both experience a common event but view or experience them differently.)
4. Students will create a book following the design and illustration phase guidelines provided by United Arts Council Secret Room Pop-up Books workshop. (See attached.)
5. Students will create a rough draft/plan sketch to solidify their ideas.
6. In the center of the pop-up book will be the event that happens to the two chosen characters. On each of the two side pages, each student will create a collage of their character. Each student will write about the central event as if they were their chosen character. The text written by the students will be affixed to the book page to show the point of view of their character.
*Students can choose to add text to their central event, summaries can be included. These are design choices that will be left to the students to decide on to add to their final product.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Different types of books can be created for students that have difficulty with fine motor skills.
2. Different leveled texts (book clubs) could be used to complete this activity.
3. Frontloading students on the fact that they will be working together with other students. Give students that prefer to work alone some time to work independently.
4. Pair students that need more support with students that are comfortable being leaders.


1. Project-based learning rubrics (content and group work)
2. Constructed response sheet (How would you compare and contrast the characters’ views of the central event?)
3. Informal assessment of their “informance”

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

1. Level IV opportunities: Determining the author’s purpose, how did the character change after the central event? Research other similar books, write a letter to the author asking why he/she chose to write the characters this way.
2. The book creation could be adapted to any subject area, different genres of books, informational text.

Additional Details

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