Tag: point of view

Paintbrushes & Arrows + A Free Point of View Activity


Paintbrushes and Arrows: A Story of St. AugustineI am extremely excited to have M.C. Finotti, author of Paintbrushes & Arrows: A Story of Two Girls in St. Augustine in 1875, guest blogging today. Her book is a rare gift. Teachers will love how it weaves real people and events in a heartwarming story. 


Thank you, Gay Miller, for the opportunity to write a blog post on your popular TpT webpage!

As the author of two books of historical fiction, I thought it only fitting to write about why I think quality novels of historical fiction are great educational resources.

First and foremost, I think historical fiction puts “people” back into history.  Too often, “just plain folks” are hard to find in social studies textbooks. That’s why my new book, “Paintbrushes and Arrows,” is told in part from the point of view of Ah-kah, a real 9-year old Comanche girl who accompanied her parents and other prisoners to Fort Marion in St. Augustine in 1875.  The U.S. Army brought her father (a warring chief) to the fort from the Oklahoma Territories because they wanted to “kill the Indian but save the man.” Ah-kah helps us understand what it’s like to be a Native American girl in a small American town in 1875.

This brings me to my second point about historical fiction:  it introduces students to a range of issues, warts and all.  In “Paintbrushes and Arrows” we learn firsthand about the effect of the Westward expansion on the Native American population and the diaspora that resulted from it.  This story is often forgotten when we learn about all the new Midwest and Western states that joined the union in the late 1800’s.

Finally, historical fiction promotes multiple perspectives.  I told “Paintbrushes and Arrows” in alternating points of view.  The companion main character to Ah-kah is a 15-year old girl, Callie, who was practically born with a paintbrush in her hand. She’s recruited to teach art classes to the Native Americans at the fort.  While this may sound paternalistic, there really was an art teacher who worked with the Native Americans at the fort. Callie’s character helps readers understand what life was like for a young, white woman in America in 1875.

I made every effort in “Paintbrushes and Arrows” to follow historical records and to portray my characters – many of whom actually existed – as realistically and without stereotype as possible. Gay Miller’s wonderful book unit on “Paintbrushes and Arrows” reflects this and more. For less than $20, you can buy a copy of my book (Amazon) and a copy of Gay’s book unit (Teachers Pay Teachers), and have months of lessons that meet Common Core standards for literacy. Best of all, your students will be engaged and learn not just about history, but about life!

Win a free Kindle copy of my book. All you have to do is watch a book trailer of the book.

M.C. Finotti


M.C. Finotti


Thank you so much for the fantastic post!

Paintbrushes & Arrows is a wonderful book for teaching both point of view and perspective. Throughout the entire book, odd numbered chapters are told from Ah-kah’s perspective and even number chapters are told from Callie’s perspective. On top of this, Ah-kah’s chapters are told in third person point of view and Callie’s chapters are told in first person point of view. 

Paintbrushes & Arrows Book Unit includes several lessons on point of view. I’ve included two additional free point of view activities below to get you started on a point of view unit. They are both included in the same free download at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Free Point of View Graphic Organizers

FREE Point of View Activity with Advertising Slogans

Gay Miller


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Point of View

Presenting Point of View 

By using the comparison of a diorama, my students are able to begin to understand 1st and 3rd points of view. I tell the students that in first-person, you shrink yourself and become one of the characters within the diorama. If you were writing a story set in the diorama, you would describe what is happening to you. In third-person, you are outside the diorama, looking in, and telling a story about what you see.

Point of View Activities 

Here are some online resources:

Point Out the View from PBS Kids

Quia Point of View Million Game

Maintaining Point of View

Jeopardy Review Game

Point of View Song

Learn about Point of View

Anchor Chart 

Download this free anchor chart.

Free Printable Point of View Anchor Chart


Printing Instructions

Adobe Reader

With Adobe Reader 10 or newer, you can print posters by splitting the document across multiple sheets of paper called tiles. After printing, you piece the tiles together. If you have an older version of Adobe Reader, you can update to a newer version with a free download here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Printing Instructions

  1. Choose File > Print
  2. A pop-up menu will open. Select the “Poster” option under “Page Sizing & Handling.” The poster is set to print 20 by 30 inches. This will tile over 8 pieces of paper. This size fits perfectly on the standard 22 by 32 inch flip chart. If you select “Size” in place of “Poster,” your poster will fit on a standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper.

Additional Resources

 Point of View Activities at Teachers Pay Teachers

Mini posters, Lap Book, Task Cards, Turn Around Upside Down Printable Books, and Games are just some of the activities your students will enjoy in this unit.

Point of View Unit at Teachers Pay Teachers 


Gay Miller


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