A Literature-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Support Trait: VOICE

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

Literature Lessons Homepage

Idea Development Homepage


Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


On-line Publishing:

Publish your students at our Ning!
(You must be a member of our "Writing Lesson of the Month" ning to post.)


Teacher's Guide:

A Poem For Two Voices
for Dr. Jekyll
& Mr. Hyde

creating partner poems inspired by literature and a song, then writing original poems about new topics

This lesson was built for WritingFix after being proposed by Nevada teacher Temoca Dixon at an AT&T-sponsored in-service class for teachers.

The intended "mentor text" to be used when teaching this on-line lesson is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Before writing, students should listen to and discuss the writing style of this book's author, especially from pages 124-128 of the book.

To our loyal WritingFix users: Please use this link if purchasing Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde from Amazon.com, and help keep WritingFix free and on-line. We thank you!

A note for teachers: These lessons are posted so that you may borrow ideas from them, but our intention in providing this resource is not to give teachers a word-for-word script to follow. Please, use this lesson's big ideas but adapt everything else. And adapt it recklessly; that's how you become an authentic writing teacher.

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources:

Pre-step…before sharing the published model:  Have students listen to the song, "Two Lovers" by Mary Wells which shares the opposite character traits of what sounds like two different men both of whom she loves. The end of the song reveals the “Two Lovers” as actually being one in the same person. Discuss the character traits described in the song that build the image of her two lovers.


Step one (sharing the published model):  Students will read and discuss the idea development and voice used in three excerpts about the character, Mr. Hyde:

  • From chapter 1, where the text starts, He is not easy to describe..., ending with ...and yet I really can name nothing out of the way.
  • From chapter 2: Mr. Utterson stepped out and touched him on the shoulder…, ending with ...he had unlocked the door and disappeared into the house.
  • From chapter 4, starting with He had in his hand a heavy cane..., ending with ...the maid fainted.

Then, students will read and discuss the idea development and voice used in two excerpts about the character, Dr. Jekyll:

  • From chapter 3, where the text starts To this rule..., ending with This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop.
  • From chapter 6, starting with, Now that that evil influence..., and ending with ...and the knowledge is more than he can bear.

Students will use the first page of the graphic organizer to record the characterization examples from the excerpts they read/hear. Your class can discuss the character traits and share the examples of showing verses telling about the character in the author’s writing.

In small groups or pairs, have students compose a poem for two voices for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Before writing, you can show students examples of published poems for two voices from Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman.

You can also use WritingFix's Poem for Two Voices handout, which is just one of the excellent resources that can be accessed from our Comparison & Contrast Page.

Step two (introducing student models of writing):  In small groups, have your students read and respond to any or all of the student models that come with this lesson.  The groups should certainly talk about the idea development, since that's the focus of this writing assignment, but you might prompt your students to talk about each model's voice as well. 

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for other grade levels for this lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Visit this lesson's student samples page for details.

Step three (thinking and pre-writing): The Interactive Button Game on the Student Instructions Page is designed to get your students thinking about different voices that might exist inside one person's head, or two voices that might have contrasing views.

Students will use the second page of the graphic organizer to record the characterization ideas for a dual-personality character or for two contrasting voices they will invent for their original poems.

Once students have brainstormed voice elements and ideas, they are to begin drafting a poem that celebrates two voices. Their poems should show the character(s) and let us hear the voices inside his/her head.

Share Original Graphic Organizers (for Pre-Writing)
from Your Teaching Toolbox.

We share graphic organizers with our peers, we find them in books, and we think we should also be able to find tried-and-true ones online at WritingFix. This year, if you create an original graphic organizer (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original graphic organizers for specific lessons, like this one, can be submitted as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step four (revising with specific trait language):   To promote response and revision to rough draft writing, attach WritingFix's Revision and Response Post-it® Note-sized templates to your students' drafts.  Make sure the students rank their use of the trait-specific skills on the Post-it® Note-sized templates, which means they'll only have one "1" and one "5."   Have them commit to ideas for revision based on their Post-It rankings.  For more ideas on WritingFix's Revision & Response Post-it® Note-sized templates, click here.

Share Original Revision Techniques or
Adaptations from Your Toolbox.

Inspired by Barry Lane's Reviser's Toolbox, the WritingFix website encourages its teacher users to adapt our lessons, especially the tools of revision we have posted here. If you create an original revision tool (or adapt one of ours) when you teach this page's lesson, and post it, we might just end up publishing it directly here at WritingFix, and we will post it here, giving you full credit.

  • Original revision ideas from teacher users of WritingFix can be submitted through copy/paste or as an attachment at this link. Look for the "Reply to this Box" beneath the post. To be able to post, you will need to be a member of our free Writing Lesson of the Month Network.

Step five (editing for conventions):  After students apply their revision ideas to their drafts and re-write neatly, require them to find an editor.   If you've established a "Community of Editors" among your students, have each student exchange his/her paper with multiple peers.  With yellow high-lighters in hand, each peer reads for and highlights suspected errors for just one item from the Editing Post-it.  The "Community of Editors" idea is just one of dozens and dozens of inspiring ideas that is talked about in detail in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Workbook for Teachers.


Step six (publishing for the portfolio):  The goal of most lessons posted at WritingFix is that students end up with a piece of writing they like, and that their writing was taken through all steps of the writing process. After revising, invite your students to come back to this piece once more during an upcoming writer's workshop block.  The writing started with this lesson might become even more polished for final placement in the portfolio, or the big ideas being written about here might transform into a completely different piece of writing. Most likely, your students will enjoy creating an illustration for this writing as they ready to place final drafts in their portfolios.

Interested in publishing student work on-line? You might earn a free classroom resource from the NNWP! We invite teachers to teach this lesson completely, then share up to three of their students' best revised and edited samples at our ning's Publish Student Writers group.

To submit student samples for this page's lesson, click here. You won't be able to post unless you are a verified member of this site's Writing Lesson of the Month ning.


Learn more about author Robert Louis Steveson by clicking here.

WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.