story by Sue Walker , illustrated by Kim Gamble

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify aspects of a story that may be experienced in different ways by different characters so that I can effectively consider how I use point of view in my own stories.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify reasons that a character may describe things in a particular way in a first-person narrative
  • I can discuss the ways that different characters may experience the same parts of a story
  • I can write a story from a different character’s point of view.


Essential knowledge:

Information about using point of view in texts can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Point of View.


After reading the story, ask students why they think the artist put Nora in their artwork and discuss their answers as well as how it is possible that the artist didn’t even realise, they had painted Nora until they were finished.

Reread the quote:

“It was Nora as I’d never seen her before. A shining look in her eye, a subtle tilt to her chin. A delicate hand holding a brush, poised at her easel. Nora was luminous.”

Discuss with the students what they interpret about Nora and the artist from this description. Answers may include:

  • The artist hasn’t paid much attention to Nora and has not noticed her positive qualities
  • Nora enjoys painting so much that it comes through in how she appears
  • Nora takes her artwork seriously and is very focused when she paints.

Next, reread the quote:

“And Nora crept forward, before my painting. She examined it without words, while I hid in the shadows, fearful. But slowly…Nora stood taller. A subtle tilt lifted her chin. Her eyes shone and, as I watched, Nora became the glowing girl in my painting.”

Discuss with students how they interpret the actions and reactions of both characters in this scene. Answers may include:

  • Nora wasn’t sure what to expect when she first came over to look at the painting
  • The artist was worried about what Nora would think of the painting of her
  • Nora could see herself positively represented in the artwork and felt proud and grateful.

Inform students that they should write a version of the story from Nora’s point of view. Explain that it should contain her thoughts and feelings, just like this text has included of the artist. However, the key points of this story should be included, but from Nora’s perspective. These should include:

  • The art lesson, painting a still life
  • The teacher calling the class to attention
  • Wandering around, looking at everyone’s art works
  • People gathering around the artist’s painting
  • Nora being told to come and look at the painting
  • Nora’s feelings and reaction when she sees herself in the painting.

The School Magazine rubric for imaginative writing can be used to guide students in their planning.