Reading for Literature Standard 6 is one of the most misunderstood Common Core Standards. many teachers are mistakenly teaching this as a unit on first, second, and third person. This is simply off base. What RL6 is really about is character point of view. What beliefs and attitudes shape their perspectives? A fabulous book to teach this is Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne.
I actually own this idea to a professor of mine, Dr. Amy Flint. In a course on Critical Literacy, we discussed ways to integrate Critical Literacy into any classroom. A key tenet of Critical Literacy is being able to interrogate text from multiple perspectives. The value is that students think critically and analyze what is being represented and make meaning of it.
The text, a picture book offers rich images, that engaged us, as adults, for a great deal of time. Browne illustrates the characters as animals, but they exist in a very human world, with human problems, differences, and concerns.
The background images, language, and numerous other elements shift as each character tells their version of the story. This is an excellent text for the following standard:
- Textual Evidence (RL1): What do students assume about each character? How do they know? Is it implicit or explicit?
- Points of View and Multiple Perspectives (Rl6): What is the point of view of each character? How are they different? Alike?
- Beyond Text (RL7): What do the images contribute to the text?
Rich text like Browne’s Voices in the Park offer readers a chance to engage with text across multiple Common Core standards.