Voice Trait: Who Is Talking?

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Language Arts, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing, Writing Process, Traits of Writing

Grade 3- 5

Objective

Given writing samples, the student will identify strong voice by answering specific questions. Given a description of a fictional character, the student will write in the person's voice.

Directions

Preparation
Copy pages 39-40 onto either one transparency or onto five separate transparencies so that you can display the sample letters to students one at a time.
Lesson Opening
Ask students if they are able to tell who wrote the letter to you just by seeing the envelope. Might they be able to identify the author if they read it?
Lesson Directions
  1. Review the characteristics of the voice trait.
  2. Show one overhead or one letter at a time from pages 39-40. Ask the students questions about each piece of writing:
    • Who do you think wrote this?
    • Who is talking here? Is it a male or female? How old is the person?
    • What might this person's job be?
    • Does the writing sound like a real person talking?
  3. List specific characters on the board, e.g., a 17-year-old football player, an 80-year-old book seller, etc. Have students write a letter to the class in the voice of one character.
Lesson Closing
Read two or three student paragraphs aloud anonymously. Ask the class if they can match the paragraph to a character on the board, and if so, which one. Does it sound like that person wrote it? or did the student's own voice come through?

Resources

copies of the activity pages entitled Who Is Talking? (see the link below)
sample stamped envelope and letter addressed to you at school

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