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I Am…. Finding Your Voice. Stu Poindexter Pasco Writing Well. Quick Write. Complete one or more of these sentences: If Voice Were… If voice were a color… If voice were an animal… If voice were a season… If voice were a type of food… If voice were a favorite piece of clothing…

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I Am…

Finding Your Voice

Stu Poindexter

Pasco Writing Well

quick write
Quick Write

Complete one or more of these sentences:

If Voice Were…

If voice were a color…

If voice were an animal…

If voice were a season…

If voice were a type of food…

If voice were a favorite piece of clothing…

If voice were a facial expression…

…what would it be?

Take a minute to respond and be ready to share.


“Voice is the golden thread that runs through a piece of writing. It’s how the reader knows it is really you speaking.”

-Ruth Culham

6 + 1 Traits of Writing

voice emerges when the writer
Voice emerges when the writer:

Speaks directly to the reader on an emotional level.

Experiments with style to match the purpose and audience.

Takes risks by revealing the person behind the words.

finding your voice
Finding your Voice
  • Voice and perspective comes through the writer’s descriptions.
  • When a writer’s voice comes through in writing, readers experience their unique viewpoint, experiences and perspective.
  • We can identify characteristics about a person simply by listening to the way they speak and interact with others.

6 +1 Traits of Writing

write pair share
Write Pair Share





How would you speak in the following situations? Write a short script demonstrating what you would say and how they would respond.

When speaking to the principal about a parent complaint…

When talking to your friend on the phone about your weekend plans…

When speaking to your mother while asking permission to stay out late...

When arguing with your mother while angry with her for enforcing your curfew…

Select the best response from your group and be prepared to share with the class.

voice is the writer s music
Voice is the Writer’s Music…

“Voice is the writer’s music coming out through the words, the sense that a real person is speaking to you and cares about the message. It is the heart and soul of the writing, the magic, the wit, the feeling, the life and breath. It is flashes of spirit.”

-Ruth Culham,

6 + 1 Traits of Writing

now let s compare
Now Let’s Compare…

Taylor Swift


voice in music
Voice in Music


  • As you listen, use the t-chart to keep a running list of words that describe the voice or style of each piece.
  • Think about the following aspects:
    • Content?
    • Audience?
    • Word choice?
voice in writing
Voice in Writing


  • How would you describe the writer’s style? Think about the following aspects of her writing:
    • Content?
    • Audience?
    • Word choice?
charlotte s web
Charlotte’s Web

“Where’s papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. “Out to the hoghouse.” replied Mrs. Arable. “Some pigs were born last night.” “I don’t see why he needs an ax,” continued Fern, who was only eight. “Well, said her mother, “one of the pigs is a runt. It’s very small and week, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decided to do away with it.” “Do away with it?” shrieked Fern. “You mean kill it?” Just because it’s smaller than the others?”

by E.B. White

now let s compare1
Now Let’s Compare…

Charlotte’s Web

House on Mango Street

other characteristics of voice in the house on mango street
Other Characteristics of Voice in The House on Mango Street

Simple vocabulary

Bilingual—use of Spanish and switching back and forth between Spanish and English

Poetic, sing-song use of language



what s your voice
What’s your voice?

“And the truth of your experience can only come through in your own voice. If it is wrapped in someone else’s voice, we readers will feel suspicious, as if you are dressed up in someone else’s clothes.”

-Anne Lamott,

Bird by Bird

i am poem is
I Am Poem is…
  • A representation of how you think and feel.
  • A template-based poem that requires students to represent themselves in the form of poetry as well as in visual form.
  • A structured way for students to begin to find their voice
  • A way to practice and incorporate voice into your writing.
i am poem template
I Am Poem Template

I am…

I wonder…

I hear…

I see…

I want…

I am…

stanza two
Stanza Two

I pretend…

I feel…

I touch…

I worry…

I cry…

I am…

stanza three
Stanza Three

I understand…

I say…

I dream…

I try…

I hope…

I am…

now it s your turn
Now it’s your turn…

Create your own I Am poem.

Choose your words carefully!

i am poem example
I Am Poem Example

I am a busy and tired father.

I wonder if you will remember these times.

I hear you call my name when I walk in the door.

I see your toys scattered throughout the house, your half- eaten dinner on the table, and your worn out mommy lying on the couch.

I want to spend more time with you, snuggling, reading, playing.

I am a busy and tired father.

stanza two1
Stanza Two

I pretend this does not bother me.

I feel that my absence is too frequent.

I touch your cheek when I kiss you goodnight though you are already asleep.

I worry that our relationship will suffer.

I cry when I think about all I have missed.

I am a busy and tired father.

stanza three1
Stanza Three

I understand that it’s almost over.

I say “Not soon enough!”

I dream that I get to stay home and play with you.

I try to remember why I am doing this and that you will reap the rewards.

I hope that life will be easier come spring.

I am a busy and tired father.

by Stu Poindexter

Fall 2009