February Theme: Voice
For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing. Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.
December 2010 – Ideas
January 2011 – Organization
This month’s theme is Voice. How can we use picture books to model for students how authors create a voice in their writing? What exactly is voice?
The NorthWest Regional Education Laboratory (NWREL) defines voice as, “the heart and soul, the magic, the wit, along with the feeling and conviction of the individual writer coming out through the words.”
Recommended Grades: 2-5
Alice The Fairy has great voice. I love the fact that it is actually written by a male, but he nails the voice of a little girl with an imagination. Alice is a “temporary fairy” who uses her “magic” to do everyday things like eat her dad’s cookies and clean her room. Sometimes her “magic” gets her in trouble along the way.
Lesson idea: Read aloud this book and discuss how the author’s voice shines through. What makes this book special? Discuss how the author makes the reader feel as if the character really is a fairy. What does an author have to do to get into the “skin” of the character? Model a character sketch for students to help them get inside the “head” of a character. Then, have them write their own character sketch of someone they know. Encourage them to really get into the personality of that person. Eventually, students may want to take the character sketch and write a story using that character.
If you are looking for additional resources and ways to teach voice to students, find past posts under the Voice tag.
**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing. If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about organization or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com. I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.
©2011 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.