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Using Art to Teach Narrative Point of View in Literature

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Language Arts And English Age Level Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

This lesson will provide catalysts for students to write their own third-person omniscient stories. Some instruction on different points of view should be completed before this activity.

The whole class will do a See / Think / Wonder with Tenements Flats after reading the first chapters of The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Students should be able to make coherent connections between the picture and themes of the book, such as class disparity, isolation, community, etc...

After the See / Think / Wonder put students in groups of two to three. Tell each group that they are going to write a third person ominscient story inspired by the painting, but each person in the group is going to write the narrative of a particular figure in the picture which will all link together into one story. Students can work on this story as we read the novel.

As the class continues reading the novel, do a whole group See / Think / Wonder with the other three paintings in this collection as themes of culture, patriotism, and strategy emerge in the story. At the end of the novel, each child should then pick one of these three pictures to do their own independent third-person omniscient story.

Tenement Flats

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Library

Smithsonian American Art Museum

In Check

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Miss Liberty Celebration

Smithsonian American Art Museum