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Using Mentor Texts to Teach Voice in Writing

When Carla from Comprehension Connection started her Six Traits Sunday blog posts, I thought it was a great idea!  I love using mentor texts in my classroom for reading and writing.  In fact, some of my best selling Teachers Pay Teachers items are a huge list of mentor texts to teach a variety of reading and writing skills.

One of my favorite picture books for teaching the Voice trait is Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne.

In this book, four characters (gorillas, actually) go to the park with their dogs:  A father and his daughter and a mother and her son.  Each character tells about the trip to the park in their own voice and through their eyes, we see four different perspectives.

This book can spark a great discussion about voice and point-of-view.  It is important that students learn to think of the world in a three-dimensional way; in this book, students can start to understand how others might look at a similar situation.

After hearing this book, students can practice writing a short story from two different perspectives.  Last year, we read the book Bridge to Terabithia and had an amazing class discussion about the way Janice Avery (the bully in the story) treated Jesse and Leslie.  My students had a different feeling about Janice once they learned about her past which explained why Janice treated others the way that she did.

Students can also (as a homework assignment) write about a trip and have their parents tell about the same trip to see how their perspectives differed.

For more mentor texts for the Six Traits of Writing, check out my Mentor Texts for Writing Workshop. Also, be sure to check out Comprehension Connection's blog post to find other ideas for the trait of Voice.


  1. This sounds like a great book. I will have to check with our library to see if we own it. Thanks a bunch for participating Jenifer! It's so nice to get lots of different perspectives on books, teaching ideas, etc. Are you back in school? Your room pictures look great. Love the window treatment! Very homey! I'm heading in this week to get things going...sigh! Have a good night and thanks again!
    Comprehension Connection

  2. Thank you so much! I will actually go in to school tomorrow to begin setting up my room! I will officially start back on August 1st, but I have so much to do. This was my classroom last year. I plan to make a few changes. At least I will have my daughter with me to help. :)

    Thank you for inviting me to participate in your Six Traits Sunday linky. It's a great idea, and I love sharing books!

    Enjoy your week and good night! :)