September 7, 2017
By Maggie Knutson

Lesson plan

Developing Voice

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Students will be able to identify voice in various pieces of writing and play with voice in their own writing.

(10 minutes)
  • Explain that you are going to read an excerpt from a book. While students listen, they should jot down notes about what they hear that gives clues about the character’s personality.
  • Read the excerpt on the worksheet Looking at Voice in Junie B. Jones.
  • Take student ideas about the character’s personality. Make notes in the margin on the sheet if you are able to project it.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that the language choices that students noticed are examples of a writing skill called Voice. Read the description of voice on the top of the page.
  • Now, re-read the excerpt asking students to pay particular attention to the language choices used by Barbara Park, the author. Pause and note them as you read as a class.
  • Looking over the notes from Junie B. JonesExcerpt, discuss the question at the bottom.
  • Ask students if they have read any books lately that have strong voice.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Looking at Voice in Bud, Not Buddy.
  • Instruct students to complete the exercise on their own and then compare their notes with a partner.
  • Discuss their notes and conclusions as a class.
(20 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will now have the chance to try employing some of these strategies.
  • Distribute the worksheet Crafting Voice.
  • Review the instructions as a class and read through the examples.
  • Instruct students to complete the activity by trying their hand at crafting voice.
  • Share student examples with the class.
  • Support:Conduct a shared writing activity by crafting voice as a class. Together, select two “voices” and a topic. Do the writing for students to observe, but take suggestions from the class when it comes to language choices.

  • Enrichment:Have students use the back of their worksheet to generate three of their own “voices” (crabby, funny, nerdy, etc.) and write about a topic of their choice. Have them read the samples to the class and see if the class can guess the intended voice.
(10 minutes)
  • Provide students with a situation prompt, such as "A bad driver hitting your car." Have students choose a “voice” and write a response incorporating this tone. Share or turn in.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students share any books that they have recently read that have strong voice. Ask them to support their assertion.

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