Contributor: Erin Jones. Lesson ID: 11801

One man's trash is another man's treasure. One person's music is another's noise. It all depends on how you look at it! Perspective is vital in writing; it is our view that this lesson will help you!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Otter, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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I asked a wise man what a million dollars meant to him. He said, "A penny."

I asked what a million years meant to him. He said, "A second."

I asked, "Could I have a penny?" He replied, "Sure. Just a second."

  • It's all a matter of perspective!

In the previous Related Lessons in this Personal Narrative Writing series found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about the four components of a personal narrative. 

  • Can you name them?

They are:

  • narrow focus
  • perspective
  • mood or feeling
  • sensory details

In the previous lesson, you explored narrow focus in depth. In this lesson, you will explore perspective in depth. Let's go!

Your perspective is unique only to you. Your perspective is formed based on your life experiences, your beliefs, and your ideas.

Consider the famous duck-rabbit illustration below:

duck-rabbit illustration

Image by J. Jastrow for Popular Science Monthly, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

  • Do you see a picture of a duck or a rabbit?
  • Can you see both?
  • Which did you see first?

Your view of this picture is impacted by your experiences. One person may see the bill of a duck, but another person may see the ears of a rabbit.

Turn to your parent or teacher and tell him or her what you saw when you first looked at the picture. As you do, pay close attention to the words you use to tell about your experience.

  • Did you begin your explanation with something like, "I saw...," or "To me, it looks like..."?

That's because you are speaking about your personal experiences in first-person point of view.

When you write your personal narrative, it is important to remember that you are telling the story — you are narrator; that means you must use personal pronouns (I, me, us, we, and our) throughout your entire story. It is your story told from your perspective, from first-person point of view.

Let's quickly to take a moment to define what it truly means to write a narrative from your perspective.

We all see the world differently, and we all may look at the same situation in a different way. This is because every person has a unique set of experiences and values, as well as social and cultural backgrounds. These are the things that make up our perspective, or take, on a situation. These are the things that make us react in a certain way to a particular situation.

When we retell the situation, we tell it from our unique perspective, in first-person point of view. There are a few different ways a person can tell a story, but in first person, "I" am telling the story. "I" am the main character in the story, and "I" am relating my experiences directly to my audience.

  • Just so you are aware, there is also second-person point of view. This is when the story is addressed to you. This point of view is most common in nonfiction writing.
  • Then there is third-person point of view that comes in two flavors, limited and omniscient. This is the most common point of view in fiction. This is when the narrator is outside of the story and relating the experiences of a character. You can recognize this point of view when the story is about he or she.
  • Third-person point of view omniscient is when the story is still about he or she, but the narrator has full access to the thoughts and experiences of all characters in the story. You can recognize this point of view when the narrator can easily jump from character to character and tell the audience what various characters are thinking or feeling.

Now that you know that your personal narrative should reflect your perspective and be written in first person, it's time for you to begin thinking about how to put all of your thoughts together in your perspective in first-person point of view.

In the Got It? section, you will explore perspective in depth. Here we go!

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