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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 2

Learning intention(s) We are learning to identify different types of narrative perspective.
KCs/Principles/Values focus Relate to others – work collaboratively
Participate and contribute – transfer learning to another context
Think – make connections; use graphic organiser as thinking tool

To model the thinking about possible connections it is not essential that the texts chosen are at Level 6 of the curriculum.

  1. Discuss the main types of narration used to tell a story: first person narration and third person narration. How can they be recognised? How do they differ? Why might writers choose first person narration or third person narration?
  2. Discuss the difference between a naïve / innocent narrator and a ‘knowing’ narrator. Naïve narrators are often (but not always) children, so they can only share what a child would know or understand. ‘Knowing’ narrators are likely to be older adolescents or adults. They will often reflect on things that happened in childhood but they bring a wiser perspective to the narration.
  3. Ask students to read these extracts from texts. Complete the table to show whether each text uses
    • a first person or a third person narrator.
    • an innocent/ naïve narrator or a ‘knowing’ narrator
    Use these texts as models to discuss with students the indicators or evidence which helps us choose whether we have a naïve narrator or one who is ‘knowing’.
  4. Give students some more practice at identifying the type of narration by choosing a range of short texts/ extracts from short texts or short extracts from longer texts. Allocate 2 or 3 texts to each group. Some examples could be:
    • “Ka kite Bro” – Willie Davis
    • “To Kill a Mockingbird” – Harper Lee
    • “The Catcher in the Rye” -J.D. Salinger
    • “It Used to be Green once” – Patricia Grace
    • “The Beginning of the Tournament” _ Witi Ihimaera
    • “In Search of the Emerald City”- Witi Ihimaera
    • “The Hills” – Patricia Grace
    • “The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” – John Boyne
    • “Mister Pip” - Lloyd Jones
    • “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night- Time”- Mark Haddon
    • “The God Boy” – Ian Cross
    • “My First Ball” – Witi Ihimaera
    • “Kingfisher come home” – Witi Ihimaera
    For each text students should identify
    • whether the text uses a first person or a third person narrator.
    • whether the text uses an innocent/ naïve narrator or a ‘knowing’ narrator .
    Record results on texts table. Ask students to swap texts with a second group and then to share results with the class, giving reasons for choices. Students should ensure that they keep this table to refer to later.

Published on: 25 Dec 2010