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Point of View


As students become more advanced, they are frequently asked to wrestle with ideas that are subtle and ambiguous. Oftentimes, there are logical and rational arguments to be made on both sides of an issue, and sophisticated students must be able to understand and appreciate multiple views of the same phenomenon. In order to appreciate why different people have distinct beliefs, students need to understand each person’s perspective, their unique experience and belief system, and how these characteristics affect their understanding of an issue.


Good learners and good citizens need to be able to view complicated subjects from multiple points of view. Doing so develops empathy, and increases understanding of the ideas and motivations of a wide variety of people, both real and fictional. Through an analysis of point of view, students are able to understand and remember the beliefs, motivations, and actions of individuals and groups.

Content Area Adaptations 

Generally speaking, students need to appreciate point of view whenever they are studying a topic about which reasonable people disagree. In ELA courses, students need to understand point of view when they are interpreting a novel, in trying to determine author’s purpose, and when they are studying persuasive writing. Whenever students are studying history or reading books from a particular historical perspective, they will need to understand the point of view of the people involved. In science classes students may encounter point of view when discussing potentially controversial issues such as teaching evolution or climate change.

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Determining Importance
  • Inferring
  • Metacognition
  • Predicting
  • Questioning
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.3
  • CCRA.R.6
  • CCRA.R.9
  • CCRA.SL.3
  • CCRA.W.1
  • CCRA.W.2
  • CCRA.W.3
  • CCRA.W.8

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Learning Strands 

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing

Refutational Text

This activity helps foster comprehension and acceptance of ideas that might be counterintuitive to many learners, and is particularly helpful for weaker students. Instead of simply defending an idea through supporting evidence, refutational texts additionally name and describe common opposing views, and then explain why these views are...

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis

Author Says, I Say, So

This activity provides a highly structured way for students to identify, organize, and process their reactions to a text. It facilitates students’ ability to react meaningfully to a text, and then to draw logical conclusions based both on their opinions and on the information in the text.

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Reflection

Interrupted Conversation

In this activity, students read aloud in pairs and take turns interrupting the reading to have a conversation with a text. The paired oral reading format scaffolds students’ efforts to “talk with” a text by creating a more naturalistic conversational setting.

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis