Using #HatBack to Teach Point of View


My third grader have been learning about point of view. Once they had  a basic understanding of first and third person I decided that it was time to have a little bit of fun and try something different.

I read my students Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. We discussed what it would have been like it Mr. Klassen would have told I Want My Hat Back from the point of view of the rabbit, or if it would have been written in third person.

After a little bit more prep, the students then headed to work on rewriting one of Jon’s book.

I tried to leave things pretty open, but I did give them a few requirements:

  • They had to stay true to the facts of the story. We discussed the difference between facts and perception. In I Want My Hat Back Bear says that his hat was stolen. Whether or not it was was left for the reader to decide.
  • They had to change one of the books from first to third person, or change the character that was telling the story.
  • Work together. Students got to pick their own partners/groups. Some even chose to work alone.

This student decided that the hat wasn’t stolen by the rabbit, the hat was FOUND by the rabbit. Someone else stole it.

This group decided to try rewriting the story in third person.

Oh, no! The bear stole the hat. I love that this student decided to change where the story started.

The big fish gets to tell his side of the story.

I think that it is pretty obvious that this student used Jon Klassen’s dialogue as a mentor text.

I loved listening to my students discuss their stories.

We learned a lot during this project. I think that it has given my students a much better and deeper understanding of point of view.

5 Comments
  1. Colby, not kidding here—you are an EXcellent teacher! And your love of books feeds so many things. This is a PERfect example of that :) You couldn’t have picked better books (I LOVE and own BOTH!) to teach point of view, and I’ll bet this is a lesson that sticks with them through their lives. And from what you’ve shown here, I think we may be witnessing the seedlings of some future writers :D

  2. This is such a great way to make point of view relevant for students. You picked a super touchstone text. Like Donna, I have a feeling this lesson will stay with them for years to come.

    Thanks for sharing all of the photos and images of student work.

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