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Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text
Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text
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Reviewed Titles
Capstone Professional

Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text

Discovering Voice is a collection of classroom exercises that helps students deeply understand the reading and writing of complex text. The lessons, which cover diction, detail, figurative language, imagery, syntax, and tone, help students understand voice in what they read and encourage them to develop a strong, personal voice in their own writing. Every voice lesson includes a quotation selected from a wide range of fiction and nonfiction text, two discussion questions, and an exercise that encourages students to practice what they have learned about the elements of voice. These lessons are specifically designed for students in middle and high school.   The lessons provide focused practice for a specific element of voice and take only 10 to 20 minutes of class time. Discovering Voice lessons fit well with any curriculum. As students work with the elements that comprise voice, they will improve their ability to critically analyze text. Students will also learn to apply the elements

SubjectWriting, Literacy, Language Arts
Page Count160
SeriesMaupin House

Additional Formats
Price: $19.95


Lauren Pantoja, ICT Literacy Coach, Chasco Middle School, Port Richey, FL - Co-author of Teaching Syllable Patterns

"The implementation of not just the Common Core State Standards but new, more rigorous standards that have been adopted in many states necessitates that we expose our students to complex text and allow them to grapple with and explore those texts. However, finding just the right text is often the most challenging task teachers face. In her updated version of Discovering Voice, Nancy has done that work for us with short manageable texts that will ensure student success. The beauty of her book is that she takes those texts beyond reading for understanding and uses them as mentor texts to scaffold student writing." - Lauren Pantoja, ICT Literacy Coach, Chasco Middle School, Port Richey, FL

February 13, 2015

Middle Web - Sarah Shah

"Ahh, the elusive concept of ‘Voice’ in writing. What is it? How does one teach it? In Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text, Nancy Dean proposes a series of structured mini-lessons to help students come to a deeper understanding of this often misunderstood concept. After reading through the lessons in detail, I believe that incorporating them will indeed help my students grasp the idea and application of voice in what they read, and, perhaps more importantly, in what they write. . . .a solid, implementable set of high-quality lessons using familiar excerpts from complex and engaging literature. . . .I absolutely plan to try out these lessons with my students this school year." - Middle Web

October 1, 2015

Illinois Reading Council Journal - Jennifer Berne

"I am most impressed with the realistic approach taken by the author. It is refreshing to find a book that positions itself as support for curriculum, not curriculum in itself. . . .The [discussion] prompts are all easily adapted to a variety of classroom structures: whole class, small group, pair sharing, or individual inquiry. Students can create written responses, which can be collected but need not be. This flexibility will be welcome for teachers who want to accommodate the needs of their students at a particular time. . . .As a professional developer working writing instruction, I am regularly asked for suggestions for mini-lessons. This book will be a great resource to suggest." - Illinois Reading Council Journal

September 1, 2015


Jackie Barnette, M. Ed., English Teacher - Astronaut High School in Titusville, Florida

"My students enjoyed delving into the lessons and the various ways offered to interact with the text samples. They loved the “Write Your Own” lessons that allowed them to apply what they had learned and discussed. Many students pulled text samples from our curriculum and were able to write wonderful questions that indicated real understanding. . . .This book will be a great help to teachers looking for ways to quickly and efficiently incorporate lessons on analysis of complex text. It is a treasure trove of relevant ideas to teach skills necessary for understanding and applying the new standards and allowing students the maximum success when reading complex text." - Jackie Barnette, M. Ed., English Teacher

March 30, 2015

Nancy Dean

Nancy Dean

Nancy Dean, professor emerita at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, University of Florida, is an experienced teacher, literacy coach, and curriculum specialist. Committed to school improvement and meaningful professional development, Nancy has worked extensively with teachers and school leaders in both urban and rural schools throughout the United States. She is the Associate Director for Professional Learning at the National Literacy Project and a national consultant in secondary literacy and literacy leadership. Nancy is a co-author of several books on adolescent literacy and the author of Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone and Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text.

Go to the Author’s Page →