Mentor Texts for Six Traits: Voice
A warm up activity to introduce the trait of voice is to have each child write an emotion on an index card. After collecting the cards, we gather at the rug and kids get to choose an emotion to act out. It just gets them thinking of different ways to convey feelings using voice. A good mentor text for this activity is: Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis.
We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems- This is a book about 2 best friends, Gerald and Piggie, who find themselves in a book! They just can’t believe this new adventure and use some great “voice”. The book is composed of back and forth dialogue along with great simple pictures. Once I read this book to the class, we talk about the different emotions the characters displayed and how the reader knew this. Many respond with things like, because of the speech bubbles, the punctuation-exclamation points, expressions on Gerald and Piggy’s face. All of these ideas the students generate, I then link back to the trait of “voice” and tell the children that they are going to write their own comic. We brainstorm ways that authors show voice and then the students try to incorporate some aspects of voice into their own comic strips.
Dear Mrs. La Rue:Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague- This is a great book to teach about using your own voice in letter writing. After reading the book, we discuss ways in which we could tell how a character was feeling by reading the letters. I then link this to my own students’ letter writing. I ask them to write a letter to Santa convincing him why they would be the best elf for the job! They have to create an elf character, with a name and a personality and convey all of this in a convincing letter to Santa. The kids love this and it’s amazing what ideas they come up with. I think my favorite line so far from one of my students was, “not only can I become invisible but I am also a trained reindeer tamer.”