Get emails about new stuff.
Be the first to know.

Get emails about new stuff.
Don't worry. I hate spam too.

Point of View

What is Point of View?

The term “point of view” has many applications, from video game development to the interpretation of art.  This page will discuss point of view as it pertains to the study of reading and literature. When studying the perspective of the narrator, the reader is concerned with the relationship between the person telling the story (the narrator) and the agents referred to by the story teller (the characters).

Modes of Narration

There are six key terms used in the study of narrative view point: first-person, second-person, third-person, third-person objective, third-person limited, and third-person omniscient.  Each term refers to a specific mode of narration defined by two things: the distance of the narrator from the story (the pronoun case) and how much the narrator reveals about the thoughts and feelings of the characters (narrative access).  Let’s take a closer look at each term.

First-Person Narration

In this mode, the narrator is usually the protagonist or central character in the story.  But even if this character is not the protagonist, he or she is directly involved in the events of the story and is telling the tale “first hand.”  First-person narration is easy to identify, because the narrator will be telling the story from “I’s” perspective.  Readers should watch for the narrator’s use of first-person pronouns- “I, me, my, our, us, we, myself, and ourselves,” as these will usually indicate that the passage is narrated from first-person perspective.  Remember, with this skill readers are trying to identify the perspective of the narrator; therefore, one must ignore the dialogue of characters (indicated by “quotation marks”) and solely focus on narration, otherwise one is not analyzing the narrator’s point of view.

Second-Person Narration

In this mode of narration “you” are the agent, such as in this example: you walked down the stairs.  As it is generally awkward for a story to be narrated from “your” perspective, this mode of narration is not used very often in narratives and stories.  There are some exceptions, however, and second-person perspective is the primary mode of narration for Choose Your Own Adventure books and similarly styled writings.  More frequently, directions and instructions and usually narrated from second-person perspective.  In most cases, directions will be written in short imperative sentences, where the implied subject is “you.”  But even when “you” is not explicitly stated, it is understood that “you” are the subject of directions and instructions.

Third-Person Narration

With this mode of narration, the narrator tells the story of another person or group of people.    The narrator may be far removed from or not involved in the story, or he or she may be a supporting character supplying narration for a hero.  Frequent use of “he, she, them, they, him, her, his, her, and their” by the narrator may indicate that a passage is narrated from third-person perspective.  There are three distinct modes of third-person narration: objective, limited, and omniscient. Which mode the narrator is using is determined by a single variable- how much the narrator accesses the thoughts, feelings, and internal workings of the characters and shares them with the reader through narration.  Characters’ feelings and motivations can be inferred and understood through their behavior and dialogue in each of the three modes of third-person narration; however, in determining which mode the narrator is operating, readers should be concerned with finding instances where the narrator explicitly reveals a character’s thoughts or feelings.

Third-Person Objective Narration

In this mode of narration, the narrator tells a third-person’s story (he, she, him, her), but the narrator only describes characters’ behavior and dialogue.  The narrator does not reveal any character’s thoughts or feelings. Again, readers will be able to understand characters’ thoughts and motivations based on characters’ actions and dialogue, which are narrated; however, the narrator will not explicitly reveal character’s thoughts and/or motivations in narration.

Third-Person Limited:

When a narrator uses third-person limited perspective, the narrator’s perspective is limited to the internal workings of one character.  In other words, the narrator reveals the thoughts and feelings of one character through explicit narration. As with objective narration, readers may be able to infer characters’ thoughts and feelings based on the behaviors and dialogue of those characters, which are narrated, but the narrator also directly reveals the central character’s internal perspective.

Third-Person Omniscient:

In this mode of narration, the narrator grants readers the most access to characters’ thoughts and feelings.  With third-person omniscient narration, the narration will reveal more than one characters’  internal workings. The base word omni means “all,” and scient means “knowing,” so omniscient roughly translates to “all knowing.”  In this case the etymology is accurate, because in omniscient narration, the narrator is all knowing.

Point of View Worksheets

Point of View Worksheet – Students read the passages and determine the narrative perspective based on clues in the passages. Then they should explain how they were able to identify the narrator’s point of view. 4 pages with 15 problems. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
Point of View Worksheet RTF
Point of View Worksheet PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet in Your Browser
View Answers
Point of View Ereading Worksheet 1 | Multiple Choice Only
Point of View Ereading Worksheet 1 | With Long Responses

Point of View Worksheet 2 – Students read the passages and determine the narrative perspective. Then they should explain how they were able to identify the point of view. 4 pages with 15 problems. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
Point of View Worksheet 2 RTF
Point of View Worksheet 2 PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet 2 in Your Web Browser
View Answers
Point of View Ereading Worksheet 2 | Multiple Choice Only
Point of View Ereading Worksheet 2 | With Long Responses

Point of View Worksheet 3 – Read the passages, write the narrator’s point of view, and explain your answer. 2 pages and 6 problems. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
Point of View Worksheet 3 RTF
Point of View Worksheet 3 PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet 3 in Your Web Browser
View Answers
ereading worksheet

Point of View Worksheet 4 – Read the passages and determine the narrative perspective, then explain how you were able to identify the point of view. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
Point of View Worksheet 4 RTF
Point of View Worksheet 4 PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet 4 in Your Web Browser
View Answers
ereading worksheet

Point of View in the Works of Roald Dahl – Nine practice passages themed around the works of Roald Dahl. Students read each passage and determine whether narration occurs from first, second, or third-person perspective. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 2-6
Point of View in the Works of Roald Dahl RTF
Point of View in the Works of Roald Dahl PDF
Preview Point of View in the Works of Roald Dahl in Your Web Browser

Point of View Worksheet 6 – Eight more practice problems where students read a paragraph of text and determine whether the narrator’s perspective is first-person, second-person, or third-person. Since students do not need to distinguish between objective, limited, and omniscient narrative modes, this worksheet is easier than some of the others. Also, students are asked to write their own paragraphs from first and third-person perspective at the end of the worksheet. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 3-7
Point of View Worksheet 6 RTF
Point of View Worksheet 6 PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet 6 in Your Web Browser
View Answers

Point of View Worksheet 7 – Students identify the narrator’s point of view in a variety of passages and then explain their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
Point of View Worksheet 7 RTF
Point of View Worksheet 7 PDF
Preview Point of View Worksheet 7 in Your Web Browser
View Answers

Point of View Student Examples Worksheet – Read the passages, underline the narrator’s thoughts and feelings, and determine the narrative viewpoint. Then explain your answer. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 2-6
Point of View Student Examples RTF
Point of View Student Examples PDF
Preview Point of View Student Examples in Your Web Browser
View Answers

Click Here for 13 Other Point of View Worksheets

Point of View Activities

Point of View Video Game – Check out my awesome point of view video game. It’s called Viewpoint Pilot. Students soar through the Universe blowing up baddies and answering HUNDREDS of questions about point of view in this classic arcade-style shooter. In the beginning levels, students read passages and determine whether each is narrated from first, second, or third-person perspective. In the later levels, students must determine whether the mode of narration is objective, limited, or omniscient. It’s free to play in your web-browser and available as a free download on the App Store. There is also an ad-free version on the App Store for $2.99. What a fun way to master point of view!
Play Viewpoint Pilot for Free on the Internet
Download Viewpoint Pilot for Free on the App Store
Buy the Ad-Free Version of Viewpoint Pilot on the App Store for $2.99

Point of View Flash Cards – Create a set of note cards to help you understand narrative perspective. Cards should include an example on one side and the name and definition on the other. Underline thoughts and feelings in your examples.
Point of View Flash Cards RTF
Point of View Flash Cards PDF
Preview Point of View Flash Cards in Your Web Browser

Point of View Practice – Students pass around copies of books and attempt to identify the narrator’s perspective. You choose the 8 books they will be passing around. It is helpful if you have multiple copies of each book so that students may work in groups.
Point of View Practice RTF
Point of View Practice PDF
Preview Point of View Practice in Your Web Browser

Point of View Lesson – Slide show covering the five narrative view points. Includes a practice activity at the end of the slide show with five questions.
Point of View Lesson PowerPoint
Point of View Lesson Web Page

Point of View Practice Questions – Students identify the narrative perspective in 10 examples from popular teen fiction. Students identify the narrator’s perspective and explain their answers.
Point of View Practice Questions PPT
Preview Point of View Practice Questions in Your Web Browser

Point of View Manual Project – A project where students create a manual defining and demonstrating each point of view. Then they provide readers with instructions on how to identify the narrator’s perspective.
Point of View Manual RTF
Point of View Manual PDF
Preview Point of View Manual in Your Web Browser

Point of View Tests

Point of View Quiz – A fifteen question multiple choice quiz with two forms assessing how well students can identify first, second, and third-person narration.
Point of View Quiz – Form A – RTF
Point of View Quiz – Form B – RTF
Point of View Quiz – Form A – PDF
Point of View Quiz – Form B – PDF
Preview Point of View Quiz – Form A – in Your Web Browser
Preview Point of View Quiz – Form B – in Your Web Browser
Answers for Form A
Answers for Form B

Point of View Quiz 2– Fifteen question multiple choice quiz assessing understanding of narrative perspective. Students identify the narrator’s view point in a variety of examples and then match definitions to point of view terms. This quiz covers first-person, second-person, and all three modes of third-person narration.
Point of View Quiz 2 – Form A – RTF File
Point of View Quiz 2 – Form B – RTF File
Point of View Quiz 2 – Form A – PDF File
Point of View Quiz 2 – Form B – PDF File
Preview Point of View Quiz – Form A – in your Web Browser
Preview Point of View Quiz – Form B – in your Web Browser
View Answers to Form A
View Answers to Form B

Common Core State Standards Related to Point of View

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 – Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Point of View
ELA Standards: Language

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.6 – With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.6 – Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.6 – Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.6 – Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6 – Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.6 – Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6 – Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6 – Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6 – Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6 – Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6 – Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

Looking For More Reading Worksheets?
Genre Worksheets
Characterization Worksheets
All Reading Worksheets

Still looking for something?
Search here.





Leave a comment

71 Comments

  1. J

     /  March 18, 2021

    There’s a problem with this whole thing…I understand it! There must be something wrong here…

    But as for narrative viewpoint — aren’t there really only five? First person, second person (“you” understood/cookbook), and three third-person views – objective, limited and all-seeing?

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Mr. Morton Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By Using This Website You Agree to the Terms of Use and are aware of our privacy policy.