Point of View and Bridge to Terabithia

This week we took a small departure from our main basal story to focus on something I haven't done in YEARS....Core Lit.  The look on the students' faces, the twinkle in their eyes, when I handed them an actual book and told them we were going to read it in class was priceless.  This, I think, is going to be a great adventure for us.

So, with that, I wanted to share with you what we have done so far.  First off, I chose to use Bridge to Terabithia for our first novel.  Partially because that is what we have available and partially because I know it centers around a 5th grade boy, friendships, and feelings of being on the outs....all things I would like us to explore in class.   I found this AWESOME and super teacher friendly unit from Scholastic free online here.  I am using it as a springboard for my discussion of the book (as well as my basal, overlapping skills so that I can be sure to cover everything.) 

Since this was the beginning of our reading, we did some browsing of the book, reading the back cover, made predictions...the whole shebang.  Then the fun stuff came.

For chapters 1 and 2, we focused on Point of View.  First, I had the students create this foldable on the various types of Point of View that a story could be written from.

I got the idea from Katie at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher and it worked out perfectly for us.  My kids really love foldables!  We just used plain paper, but here is a template for you if you would like.

Then, I had the students think about how the events in a story would be changed based upon which character is actually telling the story.  Since Bridge to Terabithia is told from Jess' perspective, we are driven to think the same things he does about the actions in the story.  But what if we changed the POV?  What if a different character were telling the story?  The students created this divided Circle Map, with each section of the map detailing one event from the story (in this case, Jess' running) from the perspective of three different characters.  The students had to find evidence from the story to support their ideas. Here is a template for you.  It can apply to any book really.

Finally, I asked the students to create this chart, in which they looked at the same two events from the point of view of three different characters.  Similar to the Circle Map, but with different events.  Again, the students needed to look not at just what the main character was thinking, but infer what others would think based on the text.   Here is a template for you to use with any book.

Overall, I think the students realize that what happens in the book....and how WE as the reader perceive the actions, are a result of who is telling the story.  That it is important for us to look outside of what we simply see in the story and read between the lines to make sure we are getting the whole picture.

Up next in our novel adventure, Drawing Conclusions.  Stay tuned ;)

Do you use core lit?  Any tips or tricks for me?

If you would like to get the book for your students, here is the link to Amazon.  
Bridge to Terabithia (Movie Tie-in)


  1. Awesome! We are starting BTT next week!! How awesome that I came across this today! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing all of your resources Steph, I love how they can work with any book! I'm looking around for a book we can all enjoy together right now (we have a wide range of skills this year)...I know Jen was talking about City of Ember and that sounds very interesting. I LOVE Bridge to Terabithia!

    I've been using more foldables with the books my students read in class (right now they are all reading different books in Reader's Workshop), thanks to all of the wonderful ones available on the blogs. The students do love them! Thanks again for these papers :) :)

    1. Jen was telling me about City of Ember. It is DEFINITELY on my list. Looks so good!

  3. Great idea! I do enjoy teaching author''s point of view because the kids have great discussions when trying to prove their points. This activity will help develop their researching skills as well. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I have used BTT with my guided reading groups. I used it in the beginning of the year with my high group, and now I am in the middle of it with my middle group. I love the point-of-view circle map idea. I will use it, thanks!

  5. This looks great! Glad your kiddos are excited.

    My Life as a Third Grade Teacher

  6. Stephanie,
    When I taught reading last year, I used literature and novel studies all year. The basal is good, but authentic reading is so important. I love what you have done to tie in your skill with the novel (which is also so important). I can't wait to see more of what you do with this novel. It's one of my favorites.

    Fun in Room 4B

  7. We've been talking about point of view a lot in class lately. I am definitely going to use the foldable idea to summarize our learning so the kids can have it in their literacy copybooks for a reference tool. Thanks for sharing. ~Stacy @ new-in-room-202.blogspot.com

  8. Great resource! Thank you for sharing. I'm going to try it this week with Tuck Everlasting. :)


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