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A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT

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Welcome to this Lesson:

Giving Voice to Opposites

voice descriptors inspire a
two-voice monologue or poem

This lesson was created for WritingFix NNWP Teacher Consultant Denise Boswell during an SBC-sponsored inservice class.

The mentor text:

I Am the Dog I Am the Cat is a gorgeously illustrated, two-perspective picture book high-lighting the differences between popular household pets.

Four-Sentence Overview of this Lesson:

The writer will choose two opposite characters  who might exchange monologues about a topic that both have a familiarity with, just as Hall does in I am the Dog I am the Cat.  Before putting pen to paper, the writer will decide on a voice descriptor for each character.  While writing, the writer will attempt to show the voice descriptor to the reader, instead of just telling the reader what it is; student writers will enjoy sharing their writing-with-two-voices pieces out loud, having their audience guess what their voice descriptors were.  With older students, you might challenge them to include some lines in their poems that can be spoken by both voices simultaneously, as demonstrated in Paul Fleischman's marvelous collection, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. Teachers: Click here to see the entire lesson plan.

6-Trait Overview for this Lesson:

The focus trait in this writing assignment is voice; the writer is attempting to convey two opposites' emotions or feelings through the monologues.  The support trait in this assignment is idea development; showing what the voice descriptor is (instead of telling) requires the students to use more interesting and thoughtful details.

Recipient of the NNWP's
Excellent Writing Lesson Award:

Because of the quality of its resources and ideas, this WritingFix lesson was selected by the Northern Nevada Writing Project as March 2009's Writing Lesson of the Month. It was e-mailed to thousands of teachers who are members of the NNWP's Writing Lesson of the Month Teacher Network.

To quickly access all the WritingFix lessons that have been chosen as "Lesson of the Month," click here to visit the on-line archive. You can have a link to a high-quality writing lesson sent to you every month.

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