Teaching "Voice" and "Perspective"

Author Punam Ohri
Grade Level 3-5

Lesson Plan Description
Teaching the concepts of "voice" and "Perspective" to JR. Grades using picture books.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Getting to know whose voice is missing or highlighted in a particular piece of text.

What might the missing voice want to say?

Adding voice to writing.


Additional Learning Objective(s):

Teaching students the concept of feelings(Character Education Traits) and how to portray those feelings through their writing from different perspectives and in different voices. 


Pre assumption: Students are familiar with descriptive writing or how to use their five senses to write.

Talk about different types of feelings( excited, frustrated, jubiliant, angry, ecstatic, etc.) and create a class chart of feeings vocabulary.  Discuss certain expressions or words that one may want to use when experiencing a particular type of feeling.  Here you can say, "when our words speak for us they become our voice". 

Read aloud, "No, David! " to the class.  Kids love that book!

Ask:Whose voice is missing in the story? What might that voice want to say? Explain your thinking".  Discuss this question as a class. Later, students will answer this question in their journals.(Expect students to use David's voice)

Next question:What might be going in mom's head when she catches David doing all those silly things?Explain.

Next question:What you as a reader might want to say to David?  Write in your own voice.

Create an alternative class text: "Yes, David!"( You may go to your friend's house but clean your room first" etc.)  Each student will come up with a suggestion and a corresponding colourful illustration.  Bind as a class book.

{Some ideas borrowed from:Critical Literacy(McLaughlin and DeVoogd): chapter 5: Seeing Beyond the Bias}. 

Next activity: Pick a greeting card with minimal words but with a BIG VOICE. Ask: what might the sender of this card want to convey?  Give information from the text to prove your answer.

Pick any expressive newspaper picture and ask students  to write a journal entry adding voice to that picture  from their own perspective or from the perspective of the person in the picture.

Give different everyday scenarios to the students and ask them to add their voices.(Homework activity)

Read a text with a very strong voice and ask students to narrate that text in the voices of different characters from the story.( Drama activity)

Extend their knowledge of voice trait to their writing assignments.

Teach them the idea of Diary entries.








Different Picture books with strong voice.

Greeting cards

Chart Paper


Space for drama activity

Assessment Guidelines:

With the help of your students, create a Voice Rubric (Criteria: clarity of character's identity, fresh insights into character's mind, how do readers feel, editing, layout etc.) This is just a suggestion. You can come up with your own criteria.

Select a grade appropriate piece of text with a strong voice( Refer to the above mentioned resource).  Pick three or more characters or objects from the story and write their names on the board.   Distribute copies of the text to the students.  Ask them to narrate a particular situation from the text in the voice of the character or the object they chose to add voice to. 

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