Friday, October 23, 2009

Point of View in Writing

Activity: (This should take about 10 minutes each to complete)
In first person, write a description of a scene from your childhood where you felt a strong sense of belonging or not belonging. Write in the first person using the present tense. Add aspects to your description that may not have happened, for example the setting or people involved.

a) Write the same paragraph, but from a different character’s point of view. Compare and contrast the effect of each paragraph.

b) Write the same paragraph, but in third person. Compare and contrast the effect of each paragraph.

Modelled response: First person -My point of view
I remember I cracked my chin open. Jees it hurt. We were at the local pools. My aunty took us there on the holidays when Mum and Dad were at work. My brother had decided to jump off the highest diving board in the complex. I was about 6 years of age so the board looked like a tower jutting out of the ice blue water below. I was frightened of the water on account of being pushed in a pool at my grandmas by my cousin. Consequently, I refused to learn to swim.

My brother was about 8 and his courage astounded me. I was baffled that he would even contemplate such a daring feat. My baffleness expressed itself in a jumping fit of nervousness at the edge of the pool. As my brother stood up on the end the board, presumably convincing himself that flying through the air was a good idea, I slipped. My chin caught itself in between the water and the edge of the pool.

My fall must have corresponded with my brother’s jump as I saw the heavy splash in front of my face and my brother bobbing up out of the water.

Modelled response: Third person - Brother's point of view
He remembered walking up the slippery steps of the diving boards. He had made this journey many a time, but this time he stopped at the half way mark. Usually he would exit here, take his position behind the jumpers in front of him and look up toward the giant board in the sky. There he saw older guys, flexing their muscles, warming up for their dive.

Today he decided to join the big guys, waiting his turn till he stood on the edge. He looked down at his aunt and sister. His silly sister was jumping around like a jack in a box, popping here and there. His aunt was sheltering her eyes with her arm. He looked from his family to his feet to the water below, all the while his body vibrated with fear. Breathing became difficult. Behind him men grumbled to hurry up. He was with the big boys now and the only way was down.

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