Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Bark/Meow, Purr/Snort - Oh, What a Voice!

Dianne Parks


Students will do teacher directed experiences to understand voice in writing. Students will complete a narrative writing depicting two animals/things that are opposite by focusing on different voices.


The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).

The student attempts to create a logical organizational pattern appropriate to narrative writing (including a beginning, middle, end).


- A copy of the book I Am The Dog/ I Am The Cat by Donald Hall published by Dial Books, 1994
- Sections of the book (see preparation)
- Paper
- Pencils
- Markers


1. Obtain a copy of the book titled I Am The Dog/ I Am The Cat by Donald Hall published by Dial Books, 1994.
2. Peruse the book and select sections of the book that students can use when practicing their voice. There should be one dog response and one cat response for each section. Type your selection (s) and make sure there are enough for each pair of students to have one section.
3. Put up two large sheets of chart paper.
4. Get markers.


1. Have two students take on the roles of the dog and the cat (they could even dress up as the characters).
2. Make two lists on the board or a large piece of chart paper; one for the dog and one for the cat.
3. Brainstorm characteristics of dogs and/or cats. Use pictures and student models to help get ideas.
4. Read the book in a normal voice.
5. Then ask, -What is the dog's voice? What words are used to get the impression a cross?- Then do the same thing for the cat.
6. Pass out pieces of the story to pairs of kids with the instruction to come up with voices for the cat or dog.
7. Ask the students to read their part in a voice they think matches the animal and the message.
8. As a group, discuss their -voice choices- and which ones they found the most effective.
9. Let the students read the piece again and try out new voices.
10. Review with students the steps to writing a narrative story (discuss beginning, middle, and end).
11. Have the students work individually to write about two animals/things that are opposites by focusing on different voices (cat and mouse, horse and cow, truck and car, girl and boy).
12. Once students complete their work, use the rubric (in associated file, to formatively assess their work.)


Each student will write a story about two animals/things that are opposites by focusing on different voices. A rubric will be used as a formative assessment of the student's learning (see attachment).
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