I've discussed voice in finely-crafted nonfiction mentor texts many times before on this blog. But today I'm suggesting an activity to give your students experience experimenting with voice in their own nonfiction writing.
To get started, find an interesting or surprising photograph of an insect and project it on your classroom interactive whiteboard. Here are a few possibilities from my personal photo archives. Feel free to use them:
Invite your student to do the following:
- Write one sentence about the insect.
- Re-write the sentence as a boring teacher would say it.
- Re-write it as a cartoon character would say it.
- Re-write it with alliteration (repetition of first consonant) or assonance (repetition of vowel sounds).
- Re-write it as a bus driver would say it.
- Re-write it as poetry.
- Re-write it with onomatopoeia (a sound effect).
- Choose your favorite sentence and revise it.
Encourage student volunteers to share their writing. Then repeat the activity with a different photograph.
CCSS.ELA—Literacy.CCRA.R.4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.