Poetry

Lesson 12

Objective

Identify the narrative point of view of the poem.

Readings and Materials

Target Task

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Question 1

Read “The Life of Lincoln West” by Gwendolyn Brooks.

What is the narrative point of view?

A.

First person

B.

Second person

C.

Third person

D.

Omniscient

All of the following support the answer above EXCEPT?

A.

“Ugliest little boy that everyone ever saw.” (stanza 1)

B.

“Even to his mother it was apparent—“ (stanza 2)

C.

“His father could not bear the sight of him.” (stanza 3)

D.

“All the way home he was happy.” (stanza 4)

E.

“’Don’t touch me!’ cried the little fairy-like being in the playground.” (stanza 10)

Question 2

Explain why the protagonist shifts his perspective at the end of the poem. Make sure to use details from the text to support your answer. 

Key Questions

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  • In the poem “Invitation,” what is the narrative point of view? Which diction makes you think that?
  • In “Oranges,” what is the narrative point of view? Which diction makes you think that?
  • In “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” what is the narrative point of view? Which diction makes you think that?
  • In “The Bean Eaters” by Gwendolyn Brooks, what is the narrative point of view? Which diction makes you think that?
  • In “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, who is the speaker? Who is the target audience? What is the narrative point of view? (It is important to mention that the poet is different from the speaker, as highlighted in this poem in particular.)
  • How does the imagery enhance the perspective of the speaker? 
  • In the poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks, who is the speaker? Why does the poet repeat the word “we” so often? Think about what this repetition reveals about the boys’ collective identity. (It is important to remind students again that the poet is different from the speaker, as highlighted in this poem in particular.)
  • Does the poet approve or disapprove of the boys at the pool hall? Explain your answer using evidence from the text. 
  • What is the narrative point of view? 

Vocabulary

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speaker, narrative point of view, first person, second person, third person, limited, omniscient perspective

Notes

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  • This lesson connects with a unit test question.
  • It is suggested to include a mini-lesson on narrative point of view, including first, second, third, limited, and omniscient.