Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

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

Diary of a Worm is a fun read aloud that informs readers of the “life of a worm.” Written in diary form, readers learn all about Worm.  The inside covers states, “surprisingly, a worm is not that different from you or me.  Except he eats homework.  And his head looks a lot like his rear end.”

The author, Doreen Cronin, has written many picture books and her wit and humor shine through in all of them.  In this book, she manages to give voice to a worm as well.  As you read, you feel as if the worm could actually have written the diary.

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 worm actually wrote the diary entries.  Choose an animal or inanimate object and model how to write diary entries using the voice of the animal or inanimate object.  Model how to “get into the skin” of the character in order to write from the voice of the character.  When students have practice writing using the voice of a character, encourage them to write their own diary entries using the voice of an animal or inanimate object.  Additional models include Diary of a Spider and Diary of a Fly, both by Doreen Cronin    

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.