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April 23, 2013

Writing Lesson: First Person Point of View

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Written by: Shari
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Wednesday Writers online writing lessons

Writing in First Person Point of View

Parent/Teacher: Point of view refers to the person telling the story. Read this nursery rhyme and determine who is telling the story.

Jack be nimble.

Jack be quick.

Jack jump over the candlestick.

If the story teller is holding a candlestick–who is holding the candlestick? That’s who is telling this story.

Is Jack telling the story? Is the candlestick telling the story? Is some unknown person telling the story?

Online Writing Assignment

Wednesday Writers; this free printable worksheet. (You might have to right click on the link, and open in a new tab). Rewrite this nursery rhyme in first person as though you are Jack. First person writing uses these pronouns: I, me, my, we. Change Jack to I, and change the verb be to am, and from jump to jumped or jumping. (A pronoun is a substitute for a noun.)

Extra Practice:

Read a book of nursery rhymes to a younger sibling. Identify who is telling the story in each rhyme.

Reluctant Writers:

This is a short assignment; encourage the student to write at least one sentence or one word. Reluctant writers can dictate the other sentences.

Reluctant Spellers:

Let the student use the example of the nursery rhyme for reference. Give instruction about changing me to I, and be to am, and show how to change the verb tense of jump by adding a suffix at the end (-ed or -ing). (A suffix is added to the end of a word.)

Creative Writers:

Write or dictate a creative story. Why was Jack jumping over the candlestick? What could go wrong? What would mother say?

Older Students:

Write a more detailed story about Jack jumping over the candlestick. Write it in first person. If you have younger siblings, read them your story, and teach them about first person point of view.

Further fun:

Learn verse 2:

Jack jumped high

Jack jumped low

Jack jumped over and burned his toe.

Research the origin of this nursery rhyme. Here is a an interesting possibility; do you think it’s true?


Use the poem as a jump rope rhyme.

Come back each Wednesday for more Wednesday Writer writing assignments. Next time we’ll talk more about point of view. And sign up for the free summer writing program.

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy, wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, founder of a local co-op for hundreds of homeschool children, author of seven books, and creator of Won Without Words (a blog of encouragement for wives) lives in the quiet country of the Ozarks where she enjoys writing surrounded by nature (and her children, of course). She is currently completing Volume V of the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for 'smart' kids, which features characters with character, and underlying allegorical spiritual truths. She enjoys high places and the road less traveled, and moments when all is well, and peace permeates like a fragrance. . .oh, and chocolate, fresh fruit and veggies, and early morning sunrises. Read her blog at

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