Stone the Crows

story by Karen Collum ,  illustrated by Gabriel Evans

Success Criteria:

I can retell the story in first person

I can retell the story through the eyes of the crow

I can include key events from the original story

I can use my imagination to add additional events

I can use a wide range of vocabulary to describe what the crow sees, hears and feels.

Rewrite a section from the text from the point of view of a crow.

Prior to reading the text, introduce/revise the concept of point of view: the viewpoint expressed by an individual in a text, for example the author, narrator or a character. (For more information and Stage Statements visit the ETA Textual Concept’s Page on Point of View.)

After reading the text, ask students to identify the point of view that the story is told from. Students should identify that an omniscient narrator is telling the story. Hint that because the story is told in third person it suggests that it is not a character in the story. Then ask which character’s actions, emotions and thoughts the narrator focuses on (Arabella).

As a class, list the other characters in the story: the Grandmother, the Mother, the murder of crows and the village people. Discuss how the story could also be told from the point of view of any of these characters. Ask:

If the story was told from the Mother’s point of view, would it change our opinion of her?

Acknowledge answers that mention: we might be more sympathetic to her concerns about food, we might see the crows as more of a threat to the crops, we might see how much she cares about Arabella.

Then, explain to students that they are going to rewrite a section of the text from the point of view of a crow through the following steps:

Provide students with a six cell storyboard. Tell students to imagine that they are seeing the world through a crow’s eyes. How would they illustrate the following events in the story?

The murder of crows descends upon the village during the autumn.

They receive crumbs from a young girl and respond with their creaky, croaking voices. They then are yelled at by her mother.

A few years later, the mother snatches bread from the daughter and threatens to stone the crows.

The little girl provides crumbs to the crows in the moonlight and the birds bring gifts to her as thanks.

The villagers standing in the fields on the first day of the harvest ready to attack the crows.

The little girl starts to be pelted with stones, so the birds pick her up and fly her to safety.

After students have illustrated the story through the eyes of a crow, instruct them to choose their favourite event. Explain that they will rewrite this event in first person, through the crow’s perspective. Ask them to reread the relevant passage before they write their interpretation.