The Traits of Writing: Voice

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12162

Can you tell someone's mood by the sound of their voice? Does an angry voice sound different from a soothing voice? Words reflect moods, so learn to write with words that show emotion!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch this fun fact video about snowflakes.

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A writer’s voice is like a snowflake — no two are exactly alike. Find your writing voice!

The six traits of writing are listed below.

  • ideas
  • organization
  • voice
  • word choice
  • sentence fluency
  • conventions

Your idea is your specific topic, along with all the details used to support that topic.

Organization is the structure of your writing — it needs to include a clear beginning, middle, and ending.

Voice is that special way you, and only you, can express your ideas and feelings. You will be learning about voice in this lesson.

Take out your writer's notebook and a pencil. Write down the five key points to using voice in writing.

Write for a Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the piece you are writing?
  • Is it to entertain, to inform, to persuade, or to teach others?

Think About Your Audience

  • Who will read this piece of writing?

Focus on the Right Details

Don't get caught up with one idea and go on a bunny trail; you will lose the focus you created.

Be Honest

It is important to be yourself in your writing! Share your feelings and emotions; let your writing come from the heart.

Focus on mood

If you are writing a scary story, you need to use words that make your reader feel afraid. If you write a humorous story, you must use words and phrases to make them laugh.

Most of you are familiar with the story, The Three Little Pigs. Watch this video and notice how voice makes a difference in telling this story.

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  • When you read stories aloud, do you use different voices for the characters?

Your writing voice should be like your speaking voice when showing your personality and expressing yourself.

Writers need to have a large vocabulary so they do not use the same words repeatedly. The best way to add to your vocabulary is to read, read, and read more. Read lots of books!

This will also give you the experience of hearing the unique voices of other writers and seeing how a carefully selected vocabulary is used to make their writing come to life.

The best way to find your voice is to write as often and as much as possible.

A good way to get into this habit is to keep a journal that you write in nightly before bed, or every morning to record dreams, or even to keep track of a growing pet or favorite sports team. Make your daily writing about something interesting so it's not a chore.

Move on to the Got It? section and practice writing to find your voice.

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