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Voice in writing: Hard to teach, easy to spot when it’s there and when it’s clearly not.
This Author’s Craft of Voice Individual Whiteboard Lesson will help your middle schoolers or early high schoolers understand the concept of voice and how to achieve it with choice of punctuation.
First I use the analogy of a basketball player’s moves on the court as a demonstration of that athlete’s voice. Then I do the same with a painter.
After that I explain to students the use of hard pauses to create voice (ellipsis and dash).
I want students to start thinking about punctuation choices as a way to create voice…not just as something they get wrong and have to fix.
I always teach voice right before I teach students to shorten the length of the quotations/text evidence they add to their writing. That way I can explain to them that by using too many quotes or quotes that are too long, they are destroying their own voice in the writing piece.
*For students who are absent for the lesson or cannot be quiet during the lesson, have them complete The Author’s Craft of Voice for Google Slides: