Voice by ewghwehws




      Facilitated by Dawn Pruszynski

   individual                    Confident
    The Trait of Voice is all About…
• Voice is the heart and soul, the
  magic, the wit, along with the
                                     • “Voice allows the
  feeling and conviction of the        reader to hear an
  individual writer coming out
  through the words..                  individual human
• We have a sense that a real          being speak from the
  person is speaking to us &
  cares about the message.
• It’s the individual something-
  different from the mark of all
                                             • - Donald M. Murray
  other writers
   Questions to Ask Yourself 
• Does this writing sound like me?

• Did I say what I think and feel?

• Does it have energy and passion?

• Is it appropriate for my audience and
              Voice Song 
If you’re happy and you know it, that’s your voice.
If you’re thoughtful and you know it, that’s your
If you’re spunky and you know it,
Then your words will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it, that’s your voice.

                  - Sung to tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
   Activities for Voice 
            Tips for students:
    •Make your writing sound like you/
•Show that you really care about your idea.
   •Write with energy and enthusiasm.
     •Write with your reader in mind.
•Take risks; make your writing memorable.
What are you looking for? 

 • Feelings through the use of words
   and phrases, sparkle
 • Enthusiasm for writing, passion,
 • Individuality in choice of ideas,
 • Taking a chance & trying something
 • Recognizing that writing is for both
   self & audience
        Begin with Primary Students

• Read! Read! Read!
   – Think: picture books, newspapers, magazines, food
     labels, brochures, junk mail…
   – Use both strong & weak: ask “Did you like the writing?
     Would you like to hear more? Why? Why not?
• Look for individuality
   – Point it out in student work – both pictures and print
• Play the “voice” game
   – Sit in circle with eyes closed. As you touch a student,
     they say, “Hello out there.” Students guess who
   – Talk about how they recognize voice
• What is the writer like? 
  – Ask, “What kind of person is the writer? What
    do you picture? What would s/he be like at
• Share two very different pieces of writing
  – Read pieces by 2 different authors. Talk about
    voice. Share 3rd piece by one of the authors
    (with same sound). Students identify writer &
• Who wrote this…
  – Have all students share thoughts about a topic
    (The BEST thing about school is…)
  – Share later to see if classmates can recognize
• Help the pros revise 
  – Revise greeting cards to add voice (Happy
    Birthday, Thanks…)

• Be on the lookout
  – Search for posters, postcards, greeting
    cards… that convey voice (original, unusual
    perspective, color, sensitivity, humor…)
  – Ask students what they see. What they like.
    Is it good? Why? Why? Why?

• Write notes and             • Use metaphors
  letters                       – Which FOODS have
  – Real audience                 the most voice?
  – Write with students to      – Which COLORS have
    create piece with voice       the most voice/
  – Talk about reason           – What if you dressed in
    behind note                   clothes with voice,
                                  what would you look
 To recognize diversity… 
• Read
• Discuss
   – What students wear, eat,
     where they live…
   – What makes them special to
     live in America.
   – Hobbies? Sports…
• Create “I Am” statement
  using example from
• i.e. “I am the cook who makes
  dinner for my family.”
   – Create drawing for book
Create a puppet show using text
• The Web Files        • Voice of the moment
• Bullfrog Pops: NA        – Create list of possible
                             mood voices.
• Walter the Farting
                           – Have students draw
  Dog: NA                    cards and talk in that
                             voice about a given
          Books for Voice 
• What you Know First by Patricia
  – Hear voice: Teller does not want to move.
    How do you know?
  – What might you take with you if you were
    going to move? (i.e. From gr K to gr 1)
  – Bring in photos for memory collection
  – Retell “good old days” stories – stories from
    older relatives or their own
  – Also: Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by
    Mem Fox
Where I’m From:
Student Writing 
• Writing to celebrate students’ lives
  – Read, analyze models
  – Use graphic organizer for brainstorming
     • Specific words
  – Use the “voice” of your family
  – Write draft – “share around”
     • Sit in circle, share poems, provide feedback
     • Revise, borrowing skills/strategies from peers
  Byrd Baylor – Guess Who My
      Favorite Person Is. 
• Read with focus also on details
  –     Specific and important
  –     Vocabulary helps you pictures it
  –     Not everybody likes same colors, sounds, smells, etc.
  –     Layout is great
                Often just a word
                or two
  Book not in
Penfield School Running
                Down the
  Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen
            Krull 
• Great use of font (presentation, voice of
• Ask students if they’ve ever tried
  something hard, talk about training for
• Stage “Olympics” of your own. Make
  posters, journals of student’s own journey
     Frog and Toad Treasury
        by Arnold Lobel 
• Read, enjoy, laugh, sigh, cry & then…
  – Draw pictures to show “voice” in their
  – Write:
    • Postcard Toad might like to receive when he’s
      feeling lonely
    • A diary entry Frog might make
    • A birthday “wish list” one or the other might write
    • A note from Toad to Frog on any subject
      Isla by Arthur Dorros 
• Great if you have Hispanic students
• Text includes 40 Spanish names and
  – Create class bilingual poem, story, etc.
• Analyze pictures for voice
  – Have students create own pictures with voice
•   How could you use a writing wiki?
    1. Have students join wiki
    2. Create a page for each student/they
       click on their page
    3. Click edit on page
    4. Type in writing piece
    5. Visit writing pages for other writers
    6. Add specific comments at the top of
       their entry with your name and date.
    7. Guidelines found on wiki…
             Emotions List…
•   Proud
•   Annoyed
•   Determined
•   Excited
•   Unsure
•   Lonely
•   Worried
•   Frustrated
•   Tired
•   Concerned
              When Sophie Gets Angry…
             • Discuss when students felt anger &
               jot down how they handled anger
             • Analyze book, including pictures
This is a
               – What have you learned about Sophie?
               – How does author help you understand
                 Sophie’s feelings/
             • Add to strategies list & share with
             • Share “character faces” and
Students create their own story
• Share student models
• Students fill out graphic organizers
  – Need to write 3 different leads on back
  – Peer conference for feedback
• Draft
  – Revise using IDEAS rubric and Voice rubric
     Match voice to purpose 
 Type of letter         Audience              Voice
Thank you note       Person who gave
Note in class
Excuse               Teacher            Believable
Application letter
Complaint letter
Compliment letter    Local restaurant   Kind, appreciative
Fan letter
            Use music… 
• Use a piece that tells a story
  – Peter and the Wolf
  – Carnival of the Animals
  – Grand Canyon Suite
• Students draw what they hear
• Discuss different voices
• Little Help from My Friends
  – Beatles – Joe Cocker
                Use Art 
• Gather 4 or 5 pieces of art that depict
  same subject but different styles
• Compare/contrast
• Discuss voice of art pieces
• Have students illustrate the trait
                     And… 
• Collect your favorite passages with voice for
• Use voice pictures (character faces) and have
  them use list (add to it) to get a picture of writers
• “Rewrite” fairy tales from a different perspective
  – have students compare/contrast different
• New voices/new choices
   – Have students write the first sentence of a letter to 5
     different audiences
   Greeting cards with voice 
• Gather greeting cards – categorize them
• Small groups describe voice of each card and
  write descriptions on sticky notes on back –
  switch cards
• Debrief – what words did you use to describe
• Have students group similar words (synonyms)
• Have students take individual card and match to
• Have students create their own cards with a
  different voice
  Revealing the person behind
         the words 
• Students write a letter to someone who
  interest them, has accomplished something,
  they admire…
  – Draft, peer conference for feedback on voice
     • Name something that piqued your interest
     • Is there anything you’d like to know more about?
     • Name 3 places in letter you think had strong
       voice/where more voice could be added
  – Revise letter
     A few last thoughts… 
• Have students read aloud
  – Read aloud published work with passion/voice,
    then read own work with passion/voice?
• Do a quick-write on voice
  – Create one-liner definitions of voice
     • “Voice is hearing the exclamation point even when
       it’s not there.
     • It’s the passion that makes the words dance.
     • Lighting a fire.
     • The writer reaching out to the reader.”
• Write letters – letters elicit voice
   – Write to somebody to explain a concept
   – Write to authentic audience, favorite author…
• “Talk story” (Hawaiian saying “Let’s talk story”)
   – Communicate heart-to-heart
   – Put anecdotes in writing
• Create “voice collage” by role playing
   – Read a piece of literature
   – Assume role/voice of a character
   – Write a journal entry in the voice
   – Share with other members of lit group
And finally…
      • Take the voice OUT!
         – Take a piece of strong
           writing and have groups of
           students take voice out
         – Debrief as class
         – Class discovers “secret” of
      • Can be done with any
               Books… 
• The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
• Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
• Matilda by Roald Dahl
• Koala Lou by Mem Fox
• The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon
• Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
• Piggie Pie Margie Palatini
• Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
   I Wanna an Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff
•   Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
•   Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin
•   Ted by
•   The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman
•   Dear Mrs. La Rue: Letters From Obedience
    School by Mark Teague
•   Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No
    Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
•   I am the Dog. I am the Cat by Donald Hall
•   Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad
•   Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
•   No, David! by David Shannon
   • Caves by Stephen Kramer
    • Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor.
    • Click, Clack, Moo...Cows That Type
      by Doreen Cronin
    • My Brother Dan’s Delicious by Stephen L.
    • The House on Mango Street by Sandra
    • The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups by
      David Wisniewski
    • Grandad Bill’s Song by Jane Yolen
    • I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman
• Voices in the Park by Anthony
• Duck! Rabbit! By Amy Krouse
  Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
• Yesterday I had the Blues by Jeron
  Ashford Frame
• Hey World, Here I Am by Jean Little
• What Are YOU so Grumpy
  ABOUT? By tom Lichtenheld
• The Day I Swapped my DAD for
  TWO goldfish by Neil Gaiman
Thank you for all YOU
   do for Penfield

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