Listening to Voice

This concept is probably one of the most complex pieces to understand when reading a text; this is due to the interrelationships of so many of the elements that create what we call "a writer's voice."  This complexity could cause some people to say that this concept is too difficult for students to deal with; however, it can be used as a way to pique students’ interest, as a way to intrigue them before they even begin reading a text. This English/Spanish resource provides an introduction to understanding a writeru2019s voice. Definition of related terms, a sample of an annotated text, and a link to other reading strategies are included.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience....
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most...
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.1
Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n x a)/(n x b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size...
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2
Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to...
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.C.5
Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective...
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.C.6
Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. For example, rewrite 0.62 as 62/100; describe a length as 0.62 meters; locate 0.62...
CLE 3001.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3001.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
CLE 3001.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, well constructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3001.3.4
Revise documents to develop or support ideas clearly, address potential objections, ensure effective transitions between paragraphs, and correct errors in lo
CLE 3001.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3001.8.5
Know and use appropriate literary terms to derive meaning from various literary genres.
GLE 0406.2.4
Understand and use the connections between fractions and decimals.
GLE 0406.2.5
Add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators.
SPI 0406.2.5
Generate equivalent forms of common fractions and decimals and use them to compare size.
SPI 0406.2.6
Use the symbols and = to compare common fractions and decimals in both increasing and decreasing order.
SPI 0506.2.7
Recognize equivalent representations for the same number.
SPI 3001.1.12
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots, affixes, and cognates to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
SPI 3001.1.13
Select the appropriate word among frequently confused words (i.e., to/too/two, their/there/theyre, it/its, you/youre, whose/whos, which/that/who, accept/except,...
SPI 3001.3.10
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
SPI 3001.3.14
Select the most precise word to provide clarity appropriate to audience and purpose.
SPI 3001.3.3
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3001.3.4
Select a vivid word (e.g., adjective, adverb, verb) to strengthen a written description.
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.KL.3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend ...
TSS.ELA.9-10.L.VAU.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings in grades 9-10 reading and content; interpret figures...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative...
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.PDW.5
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.3
Write narrative fiction or literary nonfiction to convey experiences and/or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured...
TSS.Math.4.NF.A.1
Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (axn)/(bxn) or (a/n)/(b/n) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size...
TSS.Math.4.NF.A.2
Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators by creating common denominators or common numerators or by comparing to a...
TSS.Math.4.NF.C.5
Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective...
TSS.Math.4.NF.C.6
Read and write decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. Locate these decimals on a number line.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Analyzing
Extension suggestions: 

How could I use, adapt or differentiate it?

A great way to pique students’ interest in a text before they even begin reading it is to select several passages that have a strong sense of voice and read them aloud.  Ask students identify the elements of voice with which they are familiar and make predictions or pose questions based on the selections.

Collect examples that illustrate a clear and strong writer's voice and use an inductive process to have students identify the elements that constitute voice.

After covering the elements of writer's voice, have students find an example of a piece of writing they feel has a strong voice and annotate the piece by highlighting and labeling the words and phrases that contribute to the voice.

Have students choose two characters from the novel they are reading and have them compose a piece of writing in each character's voice.

References

Contributors: