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Readers make leaders!
Kristi Snyder

Students in Mandy McNeely’s eighth grade ELA class explore how changing the narrative point of view impacts the meaning of a tex

The Tennessee Department of Education has adopted academic standards in English Language Arts that align to instructional shifts which ready Jefferson County's students for college and career. These standards emphasize students reading, speaking, and writing about complex texts and using evidence from these texts to present careful analyses, clear information, and in part, develop real and imagined experiences through narrative writing.

Students in Mandy McNeely's eighth grade ELA classroom at Jefferson Middle School are hard at work in their LearnZillion Guidebooks' Tell Tale Heart unit. They have read literary and informational texts to understand the role of a narrator and point of view. Students have also worked to comprehend how the narrative voice of a text can blur the line between fact and fiction. Throughout the unit, students have expressed their understanding through writing in different points of view and examined motives and bias in various media.

Student created posters noting evidence of truth, perception, and reality from texts they have read.

On December 3, 2020, Mrs. McNeely's students worked in groups to gain different perspectives from peers and gather evidence from three different scenes in the text "The Ransom of Red Chief." Based on the perspectives and evidence gleaned, students rewrote one of three scenes from "The Ransom of Red Chief" from a different narrator's point of view and then examined how changing the narrative point of view impacted the meaning of the text.

McNeely facilitates as students work in groups to gather evidence and gain perspective on "The Ransom of Red Chief."

Kelly Gallagher, author and expert on adolescent literacy, suggests that narrative writing can be important to the social development of young people. He explains, "When students write their way into imaginary worlds...they benefit from giving careful consideration to the decisions, the relationships, and the actions of others. When students are...writing narratives, they are in the process of re-creating themselves." What important work Mrs. McNeely is facilitating for her students!

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