Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I Think Mom Loves You Best

Margaret Graham


This is an introductory lesson for teaching the literary element, point of view. Students apply understanding of information from a picture book story to write their own family position paragraphs.


The student knows the point of view of a literary work and how it affects the story line.


-Overhead projector
-Chart paper and markers
-THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE, Judy Blume, 1984, New York, Dell Publishing
-Copies of Family Position Paragraph Directions (Associated file)
-Transparency of Anchor Papers for Family Position Paragraphs (Associated file)
-Copies of Checklist for Family Position Paragraph (Associated file)


1. Have chart paper and markers for groups of students.
2. Review THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE by Judy Blume. Practice reading the book aloud before reading it to students.
3. Download Family Position Paragraph Anchor Paper, Family Position Paragraph directions, and Family Position Paragraph Criteria Checklist. Have a copy of Family Position Paragraph directions for each student. (see Associated file)
4. Make overhead transparencies of student anchor papers and Criteria Checklist. (see Associated file)


1. Survey the class to determine number of students who are oldest, youngest, middle, and only children. Record the results of the survey for future reference. Discuss briefly the advantages and disadvantages of each family position.

2. Read THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE by Judy Blume aloud to the class. Discuss the changes in the story as the point of view changes. Students respond with similar feelings they have felt as they have had the same position in their family as the characters in the story.

3. Arrange students in small groups according to similar family position. Students may have to choose if they hold a different position in Momís family and Dadís family. Groups brainstorm lists of advantages and disadvantages to having a particular position in a family. After coming to consensus, each group lists top five advantages and disadvantages on chart paper.

4. Formatively assess students as they work cooperatively in groups. Observe that all students are participating in the group by listening to each other and taking turns speaking as they complete the chart. Give feedback as needed.

5. Groups present charts to the class.

6. Teacher shares the checklist and anchor papers with students, checking anchor papers against the checklist criteria.

7. After reading directions together, students write a paragraph from either main character's point of view about events described in the story and how his/her point of view affected the story line.

8. Students will then write their own family position paragraphs following the same guidelines.


-Students will be formatively assessed during group work via teacher observation of student behavior. Teacher observes that all students are participating by listening to each other and taking turns speaking as they complete the chart. Students who are not working cooperatively should receive feedback from the teacher.
-Student character paragraphs will tell the character's position (point of view) and how that position affected the story line.
-Students will write a second paragraph as a follow-up to the character paragraph. This paragraph will contain an opening sentence stating the position of the student in the family, three reasons that explain advantages or disadvantages, specific examples of each reason, and a conclusion. Through the writing of the paragraphs, each student will show understanding of point of view in a literary work and how it affects the story line as well as how their position (point of view) in their family supports their own family story. Checklist is in the associated file.


∑ After students have completed the group activity, group students so that each group has students of different family positions. Groups share, compare/contrast, and present findings.
Students who need more writing time may complete paragraph(s) at home.
∑ Students can search the internet for lists of characteristics of children in various birth order positions. Compare/contrast your characteristics with the ones on the lists.

Web Links

Web supplement for I Think Mom Loves You Best
Adlerian Overview of Birth Order Characteristics

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