Examples Of Different Points Of View: Literary Devices

Point of view is a wonderful literary device. Common Core aligned examples for Grades 3-6+

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Points of view or POVs are essential to English. It tells the reader or audience who is speaking or narrating a story. Think of it as the eye of a story. Any story can be told in the first-person point of view, second-person, or even third-person point of view, and getting it right can be tricky. If it's wrong, it could sound weird, and the flow might be off. Students need to learn about POV for the Common Core Standards and for life, so these examples of point of view are simple enough for 3rd-grade, 4th-grade, and 5th-grade students to work on. Once you've looked at the examples, take the point of view quiz.

Examples of Point Of View in Literature

Some writers will also work with different POVs throughout one story or piece of work, though if done incorrectly, the reader or audience might get very confused about who is speaking!

Today we're going to review different examples of point of view and define how each POV functions and when you can use them in your writing.

  1. First-Person Point of View - When the main character is telling their story.
  2. Second Person Point of View - Used to bring the reader into the story.
  3. Third-Person Point of View - Used when a writer is talking about someone else in the story. Like an outsider looking in.

In Literature, writers use POV all the time! Think about your favorite book; what is the point of view trying to tell you? Let's look at the following examples.

Examples of Different Points of View In Storybooks

Mars: Earthlings Welcome by Stacy McAnulty

This book follows the story of Mars, but Mars isn't just that dusty red planet you learn about in science, no! Mars has a character, and he wants to tell you his story. It's told from his perspective in the first person point of view.

"I'm formally inviting you to visit me, planet marvelous."

Stacey McAnulty uses the first-person point of view to teach kids about Mars in a fun personal way, so the facts stick!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Hey Kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? This is a great example of the second-person point of view in storybooks. The author is talking to you to add to the story's hilarity. It also involves the reader because you want to discover why dragons love tacos.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo begins in the third person point of view, taking you on a journey through the forest with the characters.

"A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse, and the mouse looked good." This is from the third person.

Then during conversations, the POV switches to the first-person point of view of the character that's speaking.

“I’m going to have lunch with a Gruffalo."

This switch is to help children to understand the pronouns in the text.

First-Person Point Of View

The person's point of view or POV is used when the main character or protagonist is telling the story, giving the audience a front-row view of the action; think of it as going on a journey with the reader.

With the first-person POV, we use the following pronouns:

  • I
  • We
  • Me
  • Us
  • Ourselves
  • Myself
  • Our
  • Ours

The first-person POV is used in many different ways and functions, depending on the type the writer chooses.

First-Person Central

In the first-person, central narrative, the writer wants the narrator also to be the main protagonist or central character. The character is telling their personal story. So, think of it like getting to know the character inside and out. This example of the first-person point of view is often used in autobiographies and is a great way to get to know the main character.

Central First Person Point Of View Flashcards

First-Person Peripheral

In the peripheral first-person POV, the character narrating the story is not the main character or protagonist - they are typically close to the central character.

Another fantastic example of the first person point of view but in peripheral would be,

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In his novel 'The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses Nick to create a barrier between the audience and the protagonist, Gatsby. Nick acts like an observer and reports on what he sees and his reflections. In this way, Fitzgerald adds to the secrecy surrounding the Gatsby character.

Example Sentences In The Peripheral First Point Of View

  • I always looked up to my dad and always felt so proud of him.
  • Our generation would be so lucky to have a mom like mine.
  • I wish I had known about his problems; if I had, I could have helped him.
  • Our opinion isn't necessary. We only wish to tell you about what's happening with her.

Second-Person Point Of View

The second-person point of view is used when the speaker or writer wants the audience to be involved and part of the story. This POV isn't used often in fictional writing. However, it's used more frequently in informal speech and general conversation.

With the second-person point of view, we often see the following pronouns used:

  • You 
  • Yours

This POV is used for:

  • Children's books, especially when the reader is involved in the story. Choose your own adventure books or pick your adventure books often use the second-person POV.
  • Creating an immersive experience for the reader.
  • Advertising when creating a 'call to action' from the customer to sell a product.
  • In everyday conversation, when involving someone else in a story.

Second Person Point of View Flashcards

Third-Person Point Of View

The third-person point of view is used when a writer or speaker refers to someone else. This POV is mainly used when they want to tell the audience something about someone that they haven't directly been a part of themselves. Think of it like a recounting of events or an outsider looking in.

With this POV, we normally use the following pronouns:

  • Her
  • His
  • Theirs
  • Himself
  • Herself
  • It
  • Itself
  • Its
  • Themselves
  • Or the character's name.

Like the first-person point of view, the third-person POV also has a few different functions.

Third-Person Omniscient

The third-person omniscient narration is used when the writer or speaker wants the audience to be involved in understanding all aspects of a character or characters. The omniscient narrator is all-seeing and hearing; in this case, you'll often have a few different characters narrating at different moments. This POV can be gender-neutral or gender specific.

Third-Person Multiple

With the third-person multiple POV, the reader is taken along the story, getting lots of information about different scenes in a story written from the point of view of many characters. You'll often see this POV used when a story has different characters talking in different chapters.

Third-Person Limited

The third-person limited point of view is used when a writer or speaker only wants the audience to gain information about one character's thoughts, feelings, or ideas.

Third-Person Point of View Flashcard Examples

Want some more examples? Flip the flashcards for more third-person point-of-view example sentences.

Tips and Tricks For Using Point Of View

  • Decide which point of view you want to use and what the purpose of your choice is.
  • Read many books from different viewpoints to see how they're used.
  • Be careful when swapping and interchanging the point of view you've chosen. If you choose too many in one text, it can sound disjointed.

And there we have it, examples of points of view just for you! Check out our other literary devices. We've got tons of tips, tricks, and learning tools for you to discover.

Point of View Quiz

Think you've got it? Try out this point of view quiz with your students or as part of homeschooling.

1. How do you know when something is written in the second person point of view?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

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2. Sally loves ice cream, but John prefers cookies. Which point of view is used?

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3. Which POV uses "I" and "me"

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4. You are the best! Thank you so much. Which POV is used?

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