Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian

Recommended Grades: 2-5

Have you ever wondered about the day in the life of a goldfish?  Here is a tell-all tale from a goldfish himself telling the reader all about his simple life.  But is simple really better?    

Lesson Idea: 


Voice: Read aloud Memoirs of a Goldfish and discuss how the author found the voice of a goldfish to really craft the story. 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.  How would the voice of the book sound different if the author had chosen an iguana or hermit crab to write his memoirs?  Read aloud and discuss more books with great voice (Doreen Cronin’s Diary of a FlyDiary of a Worm, and Diary of a Spider are great examples).  Have students write memoirs from the point of view of their own pet.  If they don’t have a pet, have them choose an animal they know really well.

©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.

Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

Recommended Grades: 4-6


Voices in the Park follows four characters as they take a walk in the park.  Each character provides his own point of view of the events that take place. 

 This is a great model text to demonstrate point of view.  Each character has his own point of view of the events in the park, that come together to make a whole story.  Additionally, each character has a distinct voice – one is snobby, one is despondent, one is lonely, and one is fun. 

Lesson Idea:

Point of View:  Read aloud this text and use it as a model to demonstrate point of view. After students have had ample models of point of view, ask them to write their own piece that combines several points of view into one story.    

Voice: Read aloud this text as a model for voice.  Discuss how each character has a distinct voice based on his circumstances.  Analyze how the author uses word choice to convey voice.  After students have had practice with writing with voice, ask students to create a character sketch that provides background information on a character.  Then ask students to take that background information and determine what the character’s voice might sound like.               

©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.

 

Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss

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: 3-5

Amelia’s Notebook is a fun read aloud to demonstrate voice.  Amelia is nine years old and records her thoughts and feelings about moving, her new school, and her friends in her notebook.  Written from the perspective of a nine-year old, many upper elementary students will be able to relate to Amelia.

Amelia’s Notebook is one of my touchstone texts.  I used it to model writer’s notebooks as well as to teach voice.

Lesson idea: Read aloud the book.  Think aloud about the ways Amelia keeps notes in her notebook and how the author was able to write from the perspective of a nine year old.  Model for students how to create a character.  Check out last week’s post about Alice the Fairy to help students create a character sketch of a character.  Then, have students create a character and write journal entries from the perspective of the 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.

Alice the Fairy by David Shannon

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.