Now Ear This

story by David Hill , illustrated by David Legge

Learning intention:

I am learning to connect to characters and the events they experience by considering times when I have experienced similar circumstances and events.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify the narrative point of view
  • I can connect with characters considering alternative reasons for their actions
  • I can compose a brief extract of a narrative based on a character making a snap judgement that proves to be incorrect

Discuss narrative point of view, ensuring students know this refers to the person who is seeing, thinking and telling the story. View the video on Point of View from The School Magazine for more information on narrative point of view.

Provide an example by retelling a well-known story from an alternate point of view. Tell Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s perspective. Describe the wolf’s hunger and how desperate he is to hunt. Explain that his family is starving due to excessive logging in the forest, which has eliminated his food supply. Emphasise that it is his desperation that makes him pursue Little Red Riding Hood and her family.

Discuss students’ perceptions of the story after it is told from an alternative point of view. Most likely students will have more empathy for the wolf than they would in the original version of the story. Ensure students identify that the point of view a story is told from influences the readers’ opinions about characters and their actions.

Read up to the end of the first column on page four of Now Ear This. Ensure students do not read on for now. Identify the narrative point of view the story is told from (the boy who lives in the neighbourhood). Identify vocabulary he uses to describe the new boy, Jan (‘snobby’).

Discuss the conclusions the narrator has drawn about Jan. Ensure students correctly conclude that he has made a snap decision about Jan and Jan’s reasons for not talking with the other boys. Reflect on how showing Jan through the narrator’s point of view leads readers to assume Jan is in fact snobby and aloof.

Identify additional information the narrator discovers about Jan (that he cannot hear due to being in close proximity to an explosion in his native homeland of Poland). Discuss the ways Jan challenges the narrator’s initial opinion of him (he joins the boys in a game of cricket and helps them to win an important match).

Inform students that they will be considering the events from Jan’s point of view to identify further reasons why he may appear unfriendly initially. Discuss how Jan might be feeling when he meets the other boys in the neighbourhood. Sample responses include: nervous about whether they will like him, apprehensive to play cricket as perhaps he has not played it previously, keen to fit in and be accepted, sad about moving away from Poland. Encourage students to consider times when they might have been new to a neighbourhood or an activity to assist them with considering the move from Jan’s point of view.

Those with a digital subscription should complete the interactive task now.

Display a variety of images of students, some where the students are smiling and some where they are scowling. For example, view the images Angry Children and Portrait of Childminder and Children by Sandpit, both from Alamy. Instruct students to identify which of the children featured in the photographs they think they could be friends with and those they think they would not get along with.

Discuss elements that may have influenced students’ choices, for example clothing, facial expressions and age. Remind students that often snap judgements can often be incorrect.

Instruct students to select one of the images and write a brief extract of a story featuring two characters based on two of the people in the photo. Tell them the story should focus on one character making a snap judgement about the other that proves to be incorrect. Inform students that they’ll be required to tell their story from the point of view of the character making the incorrect assumption. Tell students that they can draw on their personal experiences or that they can compose a narrative that is purely fiction.

A sample response has been provided below:


Sierra sidled up to the cluster of year 6 students and asked, “Hey, can I play with you?”

“Nah, go away new girl, I bet you don’t know anything about Fortnite,” Billy sneered. A few of the students sniggered. Billy was always suspicious of new students. What if they stole all his friends?

“In fact, I’m an expert,” Sierra replied.

Billy thought about this. Perhaps she wasn’t so bad after all.

The students in the cluster glanced from side to side nervously. Billy cleared his throat.

“OK, new girl, come show us.”

Sierra stood up straighter and stalked over the group, slipping her device from her bag.