This month we’ve explored the concept of “Finding Your Voice” from a variety of different angles. We’ve looked at voice as an expression of talents, strengths, dreams, hopes. We’ve celebrated the role of good books in encouraging children to embrace a diversity of voices.
Voice can also be thought of as that sometimes, indefinable quality that distinguishes one piece of writing from another. Lola M. Schaefer, in her book, TEACHING THE CRAFT OF WRITING: VOICE, writes: “Some might say it’s the expressive part of the work, a combination of the author and the narrative coming together. Others might believe voice is the quiet background music coming from the heart of the writer… others might suggest it’s the honesty of the writing working through the character.” (5)
Ruth Culham and Raymond Coutu in their book, USING PICTURE BOOKS TO TEACH WRITING WITH THE TRAITS think of voice as “the energy of the writing that creates a strong reader-writer interaction…it’s the writer’s distinctive fingerprint that makes the writing his or her own.” (41)
Whether students are writing an original tall tale or a story inspired by traditional folklore, one way to encourage the tall tale voice is to study the elements found in published tall tales and have kids write their own.
To learn more about Tall Tales, click HERE.