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Lesson Plan

Exploring Author's Voice Using Jane Addams Award-Winning Books

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Eight 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer J. Brooks

Bay City, Michigan


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



This lesson uses Jane Addams Award-winning books to explore author's voice and style. The Jane Addams Book Awards are given to children's books that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races. After reading and examining The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy, a Jane Addams Honor Book in 2001, students choose another Jane Addams Award-winning book for personal investigation of author's voice. This lesson is designed for students in grades 6 to 8, but can be adapted for other grade bands as well.

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Indrisano, R., & Paratore, J.R. (2005). Learning to write, writing to learn: Theory and research in practice. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

A helpful first step to developing an understanding of voice is to identify and distinguish other authors' voices. Examining the author's voice in model texts is one of the best techniques to use with students.


Spandel, V. (2005). Creating writers through 6-trait writing assessment and instruction, (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Voice is like verbal fingerprints that a writer imprints on the page. It is a mix of individuality, confidence, engagement with the topic, and reader rapport, and something that keeps the reader reading.

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