Contrasting Perspectives in Catherine, Called Birdy

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Catherine, Called Birdy

Catherine, Called Birdy Perspective


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Activity Overview

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.

Contrasting Perspectives

Catherine’s Point of ViewContrasting 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.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Identify examples in which Catherine’s perspective differs from your perspective or that of the other characters in Catherine, Called Birdy.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Think of four times throughout the story when Catherine’s perspective on a topic was clearly different than the perspective of another character or of your own.
  3. In the left-hand column, create an image to depict the way Catherine perceives a topic. Use the text box below to describe her perspective.
  4. In the right-hand column, create an image to depict the way you or another character perceive the same topic, then use the text box below to describe that perspective.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Catherine, Called Birdy Contrasting Perspectives Template


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(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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