Since Catherine, Called Birdy is told in first person, the dominant perspective is Catherine’s. It is clear, however, that many of the people in Catherine’s life do not share her perspective. In many places, Catherine’s point of view may also differ from that of the reader. At times, the novel contains dramatic irony when the modern reader can spot flaws in Catherine’s reasoning and predict the outcome. (The modern reader, for example, is not surprised that it happens to be sunny on October 28th, despite being the feast of Saints Simon and Jude.)
Storyboarding can be a helpful way for students to distinguish Catherine’s point of view from other characters’. Using a T-Chart, have students depict Catherine’s perspective on the left with the contrasting perspective of other characters on the right. Students can include their own point of view or the author’s as well. Below each scene, have students explain the character’s thoughts on the issue depicted or include an illustrative quotation from the novel.
|Catherine’s Point of View||Contrasting Perspective|
|Catherine thinks Shaggy Beard is the most foul person ever to walk the face of the earth.||Catherine's Father:|
Father sees Shaggy Beard as an average man who will bring wealth and security to Catherine and her family.
|Catherine thinks all of the sewing, embroidery, and other ladylike tasks she does are pointless and not worth her time.||Catherine's Mother:|
Mother sees these tasks are part of the life she and Catherine were born into. She believes that accepting them willingly makes life happier and more peaceful.
|Catherine views Meg as a friend and fun companion. She does not worry about class distinctions and wishes Meg would stop curtseying and calling her "my lady".||Meg:|
As a peasant, Meg is always conscious of the class difference between herself and Lady Catherine. She is respectful of Catherine and hesitant to act too boldly in front of her.
|Catherine is impressed with the relics Brother Norbert and Brother Berhtwald bring back from Rome.||Reader:|
I think the monks may have been fooled by the soldier who led them to the graves. They relics could be fake. Since the graves were unmarked, the soldier could have lied just for the money the monks paid for his help.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Identify examples in which Catherine’s perspective differs from your perspective or that of the other characters in Catherine, Called Birdy.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 5 (Advanced / Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Point of View vs. PerspectiveCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Examples from the Novel
The student selects all accurate examples that demonstrate Catherine’s perspective as it differs from others’.
The student selects mostly accurate examples that demonstrate Catherine’s perspective as it differs from others’.
Most of the student's examples reflect a lack of understanding of perspective in general or of the specific events of the novel.
Text descriptions clearly explain the varying perspectives and make the contrast clear.
Text descriptions explain the perspectives, but may lack clarity.
Text descriptions do not accurately address the characters' perspectives as portrayed in the novel.
Side-by-side depictions show the same topic in a different light. Scenes clearly connect to the topic described and use visual elements to show a difference between perspectives.
Side-by-side depictions show the same topic in a different light. Scenes connect to the topic described, but may be simplistic or lack detail. The storyboard uses a few visual elements to show a slight difference between perspectives.
Side-by-side depictions do not address the same topic in a different light. Scenes do not clearly connect to the topic described.
Effort and Editing
Work is complete, thorough, and neat. Spelling and grammar are correct.
Most of the sections of the storyboard were at least attempted and work is presentable. The text contains some errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Storyboard is unfinished and/or disorganized. The text contains many errors in spelling and/or grammar.