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Teaching the Trait of Voice Using Alice the Fairy

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❶The story alternates between two distinct voices: Clothes, accessories, or physical features are the types of things the students should be labeling here.

Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits

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Teaching Students to Maintain a Personal Voice in Writing

Review the overhead "Think About: Adding Energy" with students. Remind them that although Shannon wrote Alice the Fairy in a humorous and silly voice,there are other voices that writers use, such as sad, caring, lonely, angry, fearful,and peaceful.

Repeat the question from the beginning of the lesson: How many think it is somewhat important? How many don't think it's important at all? Ask students to think up a power and a spell and to draw it, but not to write it out. If possible, ask an older student to write the power and spell for the student on the page or on a sticky note so the student can copy the words for himself or herself.

Teaching lessons within the Trait Crate series for Grades K-2 that use picture books, teaching guides, posters and more. List Name Delete from selected List. Save Create a List. The Teacher Store Cart. Grades PreK—K , 1—2 , 3—5 , 6—8 , 9— This lesson is excerpted from The Trait Crate: A Definition for Primary Students Sparkling, confident, unquestionably individual. Primary writers are well on their way to applying voice when they exhibit the following: Read Alice the Fairy to students, showing the pictures as you go.

Explain to students that when authors choose their writing voices carefully, they are much more likely to create pieces with a lot of energy, as David Shannon did with Alice the Fairy 5. Download the PDF from here. Fleer helped her students get started by finding a familiar topic. In this case her students had been studying sea life. She asked them to brainstorm language related to the sea, allowing them time to list appropriate nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

The students then used these words to create phrases and used the phrases to produce the poem itself. As a group, students put together words in ways Fleer didn't believe many of them could have done if they were working on their own, and after creating several group poems, some students felt confident enough to work alone.

Douglas James Joyce, a teacher-consultant with the Denver Writing Project , makes use of what he calls "metawriting" in his college writing classes. He sees metawriting writing about writing as a way to help students reduce errors in their academic prose. Joyce explains one metawriting strategy: After reading each essay, he selects one error that occurs frequently in a student's work and points out each instance in which the error is made. He instructs the student to write a one page essay, comparing and contrasting three sources that provide guidance on the established use of that particular convention, making sure a variety of sources are available.

Glorianne Bradshaw, a teacher-consultant with the Red River Valley Writing Project North Dakota , decided to make use of experiences from her own life when teaching her first-graders how to write. For example, on an overhead transparency she shows a sketch of herself stirring cookie batter while on vacation. She writes the phrase "made cookies" under the sketch. Then she asks students to help her write a sentence about this.

She writes the words who , where , and when. Using these words as prompts, she and the students construct the sentence, "I made cookies in the kitchen in the morning. Next, each student returns to the sketch he or she has made of a summer vacation activity and, with her help, answers the same questions answered for Bradshaw's drawing. Then she asks them, "Tell me more. Do the cookies have chocolate chips? Does the pizza have pepperoni?

Rather than taking away creativity, Bradshaw believes this kind of structure gives students a helpful format for creativity. Stephanie Wilder found that the grades she gave her high school students were getting in the way of their progress.

The weaker students stopped trying. Other students relied on grades as the only standard by which they judged their own work. She continued to comment on papers, encourage revision, and urge students to meet with her for conferences. But she waited to grade the papers. It took a while for students to stop leafing to the ends of their papers in search of a grade, and there was some grumbling from students who had always received excellent grades.

But she believes that because she was less quick to judge their work, students were better able to evaluate their efforts themselves. Erin Pirnot Ciccone, teacher-consultant with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project , found a way to make more productive the "Monday morning gab fest" she used as a warm-up with her fifth grade students. She conceived of "Headline News. After the headlines had been posted, students had a chance to guess the stories behind them.

The writers then told the stories behind their headlines. As each student had only three minutes to talk, they needed to make decisions about what was important and to clarify details as they proceeded. They began to rely on suspense and "purposeful ambiguity" to hold listeners' interest. On Tuesday, students committed their stories to writing. Because of the "Headline News" experience, Ciccone's students have been able to generate writing that is focused, detailed, and well ordered.

Slagle, high school teacher and teacher-consultant with the Louisville Writing Project Kentucky , understands the difference between writing for a hypothetical purpose and writing to an audience for real purpose. She illustrates the difference by contrasting two assignments. Write a review of an imaginary production of the play we have just finished studying in class. They must adapt to a voice that is not theirs and pretend to have knowledge they do not have.

Slagle developed a more effective alternative: Authenticity in Writing Prompts. Mark Farrington, college instructor and teacher-consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project , believes teaching revision sometimes means practicing techniques of revision. An exercise like "find a place other than the first sentence where this essay might begin" is valuable because it shows student writers the possibilities that exist in writing.

In his college fiction writing class, Farrington asks students to choose a spot in the story where the main character does something that is crucial to the rest of the story. At that moment, Farrington says, they must make the character do the exact opposite. Bernadette Lambert, teacher-consultant with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project Georgia , wondered what would happen if she had her sixth-grade students pair with an adult family member to read a book.

She asked the students about the kinds of books they wanted to read mysteries, adventure, ghost stories and the adults about the kinds of books they wanted to read with the young people character-building values, multiculturalism, no ghost stories.

Using these suggestions for direction, Lambert developed a list of 30 books. From this list, each student-adult pair chose one. They committed themselves to read and discuss the book and write separate reviews. Most of the students, says Lambert, were proud to share a piece of writing done by their adult reading buddy. Several admitted that they had never before had this level of intellectual conversation with an adult family member.

Suzanne Linebarger, a co-director of the Northern California Writing Project , recognized that one element lacking from many of her students' stories was tension. One day, in front of the class, she demonstrated tension with a rubber band. Looped over her finger, the rubber band merely dangled.

It's the tension, the potential energy, that rivets your attention. It's the same in writing. Linebarger revised a generic writing prompt to add an element of tension. The initial prompt read, "Think of a friend who is special to you. Write about something your friend has done for you, you have done for your friend, or you have done together. Linebarger didn't want responses that settled for "my best friend was really good to me," so "during the rewrite session we talked about how hard it is to stay friends when met with a challenge.

Students talked about times they had let their friends down or times their friends had let them down, and how they had managed to stay friends in spite of their problems. In other words, we talked about some tense situations that found their way into their writing.

Moving From Fluency to Flair. Ray Skjelbred, middle school teacher at Marin Country Day School, wants his seventh grade students to listen to language. He wants to begin to train their ears by asking them to make lists of wonderful sounding words. They may use their own words, borrow from other contributors, add other words as necessary, and change word forms. Among the words on one student's list: Grammar, Poetry, and Creative Language.

Kathleen O'Shaughnessy, co-director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana Louisiana , asks her middle school students to respond to each others' writing on Post-it Notes.

Students attach their comments to a piece of writing under consideration. While I was reading your piece, I felt like I was riding a roller coaster. It started out kinda slow, but you could tell there was something exciting coming up.

All students are expected to make revisions to a previously published story or entry from their Writer's Notebook. Teachers often use checklists to assess student writing.

Now that students are familiar with voice, an important trait of writing, they can expect that you will look for it on all future writing assignments. You may even create your own rubric that can be used to assess your students' ability to add authentic voice to their writing by scoring their paper on a five-point scale.

Creative solutions for test review, classroom management through reading workshop, a classroom economy unit plan, and more from one of the star teachers of the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog. List Name Delete from selected List. Save Create a List. The Teacher Store Cart.

Identify examples of strong voice in popular picture books Add voice to their writing Evaluate and revise their own writing Share their writing with their peers.

Ask students to tell you what they think it means for writing to have voice. I tell my students that you can tell if writing has voice if: Follow the steps below: Peek at your card without showing it to your class.

You may want to choose your word ahead of time so that you can pre-plan your writing. Write a short paragraph in which you reveal your assigned emotion. Students must reveal the emotion solely through the thoughts, words, or actions of the characters or narrator in their short stories.

Write your paragraph in front of the class. For example, if you have the word "Nervous," you might write: After reading your paragraph to your class, have students guess the emotion that you were trying to reveal through your writing. You may need to do a couple of examples to make sure that students understand the task. It's also important that you show that this is not a synonym exercise.

The goal is NOT to replace the emotion word with cognates. Instead, the goal is to show that emotion through thoughts and actions. Revisit and Revise Step 1: Sharing Your Voice Step 1: Worksheet printable to students. Can students identify voice in writing?

Are students beginning to add more voice to their own writing? Which students will need more one-on-one assistance? Download the PDF from here.


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Teaching Voice in Writing – Teacher Background By Barbara Mariconda. We’ve all heard teachers talk about “voice” – how a piece of writing somehow has it – or doesn’t. Often referred to as “author’s voice, it is a frequently misunderstood concept, an illusive quality that often seems difficult, if not impossible to teach.

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Teaching Students to Maintain a Personal Voice in Writing written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 4/2/ Out of all the writing traits, voice presents the biggest challenge for students and teachers.

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Step 1: Explain to students that writing is more interesting and fun to read when it has what is called voice: personality, color, and emotion. Step 2: Ask students to tell you what they think it means for writing to have voice. Writing Traits: Teaching the Skills of Voice: teacher-created resources and lessons all focused on skills that make up the trait of voice Strategies for Teaching VOICE (K - 6) This is a quick and effective lesson on adding Voice.

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For this lesson, they work with the voice trait by imagining how they would use a magic wand to cast fun spells and putting their thoughts into writing. Voice: A Definition for Primary Students Sparkling, confident, unquestionably individual. Each of the six writing traits--voice included--can be broken down into multiple smaller writing skills that--when working together--make-up the bigger trait. Below, find some of our webmaster's favorite resources and lessons that focus specifically on just one of voice's sub-skill: imitating real world voices.