A full guide for teachers who teach RL.6 in middle school ELA. This post contains learning targets, resources, and activity suggestions!
I love teaching about perspective and point of view because it is kind of a little empathy lesson built into the reading standards for middle school.
As students learn about point of view, they start to realize that how a situation is interpreted varies based on the situations and vantage points of different people/characters.
This can lead to some really awesome discussions about why people don’t all look at situations the same way and what could cause a character (or person) to experience a different feeling toward a scenario, even if they were standing right next to another person.
In the Common Core, the standard that focuses on the point of view and perspective is called RL.6, and in this post, we are going to fully explore this standard.
As we start talking about how to teach RL.6 in middle school, let’s start with the learning targets!
By focusing on learning targets, we can model our lessons to hit on very specific goals and skills. In this post, we talk about how we break down each standard and make a plan for learning, practicing, and reviewing the standards throughout the year using the checklists below.
When starting to deconstruct a standard, start with the learning targets. To get the learning targets, break down the standard into 2-5 parts or key skills.
Here are the learning targets on which we developed our resources for RL.6.
7th Grade Standard: Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text
7th Grade Learning Targets
- I can identify the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text
- I can contrast the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text
- I can analyze how an author develops the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text
8th Grade Standard: Analyze how differences in the points of view of characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
8th Grade Learning Targets
- I can differentiate between the points of view of the characters and the audience/reader.
- I can evaluate how the differing points of view of the characters and the audience (created through but not limited to dramatic irony) create tone or mood in the passage.
- I can analyze the word choice and techniques used by an author to develop their point of view and include examples to support my analysis.
Growing through Middle School
This is a really interesting standard because of how it grows just between these few grade levels. In the 7th grade standard, we are completely focused on the perspective of characters. How the character’s perspectives are represented and how they affect the story.
However, in 8th grade, the standard starts to introduce audience perspective, which has a lot more nuance. How does the author learn information, and how is that different than when/how the characters learn the same information? This introduces dramatic irony.
Different Points of View
As part of our middle school resources for the RL.6 standard, we focus on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd points of view.
1st Person Point of View
Mode of storytelling in which the storyteller recounts the happenings from his/her point of view; uses pronouns such as I, me, my, etc.
2nd Person Point of View
Mode of storytelling in which the storyteller talks to the audience directly, typically used for giving directions, offering advice, or providing an explanation; uses pronouns such as you, your, etc.
3rd Person Point of View
Mode of storytelling in which the storyteller exists outside the story; uses pronouns such as they, them, their, etc.
The 3rd Person’s Point of View typically represents either a limited viewpoint or an omniscient viewpoint.
A limited narrator is a third-person perspective in which the narrator only knows the heart and mind of one character; thus, their perspective is limited.
An omniscient narrator is a third-person perspective in which the narrator has no bias; they have full knowledge and understanding of all the characters; omniscient means all-knowing.
A major part of perspective and point of view is actions, reactions, thoughts, and dialogue. These are the ways a character can show how they feel about a situation.
One fun part of discussing these four elements of characterization as part of reading comprehension is that students start to see how they can improve their writing by including more of these elements as well.
Resources for teaching RL.6
When picking resources to help teach RL.6, pick resources that teach, practice, and review the standard at the appropriate level for the students you’re teaching.
Each of our resources for this standard is designed to be appropriate and grade-level specific. You can take a closer look at each resource by clicking the links below.
The resources include a lesson/activity for each specific learning target or concept and also include assessments, posters, and answer keys. The activities are also available both in a digital format and a standard, printable format.
Activities and Projects for Practicing and Assessing RL.6 in Middle School
- Using emoji charts to note how each character feels about different situations. This is an activity in our 7th-grade resource.
- Breaking down perspective by thoughts/feelings, actions, dialogue/words spoken, and narration. Using these four parts of character representation provide well-rounded proof of a character’s point of view or perspective on an event. This is also part of our 7th-grade resource.
- Create infographics to visually present how different characters feel about a given situation. This is a great summative assessment in our 7th-grade unit as it includes both identifying character points of view and perspective but also introduces and assesses the ability to compare and contrast!
- Role-playing as different stakeholders in different situations is also a fun activity when studying perspective. We have outlined this activity as part of our 8th-grade RL.6 unit.
- Rewriting scenes from the perspectives of different characters is one of my favorite types of assessments for this unit, as it is good practice in both reading comprehension and writing. We have one of these activities in the 8th-grade unit.
We know that ensuring your students understand and master the standards can be quite the undertaking, and that’s why we create units focused on each of the standards that you can download and start using asap. We want all teachers to feel prepared and at ease knowing that they are doing exactly what they need to do to make sure that all of their students are getting exposure to fun activities that focus on the standards.