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

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Just Because...

giving voice to voiceless characters


Student Writer Instructions:

In Lord of the Flies, the boys learned early on the importance of having their voices heard. At the beginning of chapter 2, Ralph introduced the conch as a way to let everyone speak one at a time without being interrupted. The conch became a symbol of voice. Almost immediately, however, the boys figured out that voice equals power and the conch began to pass to fewer and fewer hands. Ultimately, the conch is destroyed, signifying the end of Ralph’s groups’ voice and the beginning of Jack’s groups’ freedom to become total savages. It is fair to say that the loss of equal voice led to the loss of civilized behavior on the island. Could the “society” on the island have been preserved had more voices been involved in the decision making process?

The first task you will complete is the graphic organizer titled, “Power Distribution on the Island.” You will rank each character in terms of how loud their voice was heard and document specific passages that show how equal voice and balance of power slowly dissolved on the island. As you reflect, think about what each character might have said had they been given an equal opportunity for their voice to be heard.

Next, choose one character whose voice was controlled, limited or silenced and give them a voice by creating a “Just Because” poem from their perspective. Remember the focus trait of voice calls for mood, passion and perspective while the support trait of idea development focuses on quality details that deliver your characters message in a clear way. Some sample lines from a “Just Because “ poem might say:

(From the Littluns)
Just because I’m younger than you, it doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions,
Just because I’m younger than you, it doesn’t mean I can’t help solve problems,

(From Piggy)
Just because I’m fat, it doesn’t mean I choose to be,
Just because I wear glasses, it doesn’t mean I can’t see solutions to problems,
Just because I’m different, it doesn’t mean I’m less important than you,

Your final task is to apply what you’ve learned about voice to the world around you. Look at our society and pinpoint some groups or people that you feel are not being heard and right a new “Just Because” poem from their perspective. Perhaps you will write a poem from your own point of view? You can use the interactive buttons below to help generate some ideas. Button one has examples of potential voices that need to be heard. Thinking of people they might be speaking to will help you develop their perspective.


Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.



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