#SOL15: Day 20, Voices Found in Story

Building on our work in Read Aloud this week (see Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday posts), I read Jacqueline Woodson’s Each Kindness. Students are very familiar with the story; we’ve read it multiple times at the beginning of the year.

Students were asked to take on the voice of one character. They wrote in their notebooks as I read, stopped and asked: what do you think and feel.

Their choice of character split down the middle. Those who chose Maya had similar reactions, a mix of hurt and confusion. The Chloe choice showed differing responses.

Asking students to be the character; to write in the voice of the character has moved their writing about reading. The difference in reactions to the Chloe character maybe due to the various ways students interpret her through their personal lens.

2015-03-19 13.13.502015-03-19 13.13.45

The following is a found poem based on six students responses.

I am Maya.

Who is this person?

Why is this girl getting away from me?

I think she doesn’t like me; isn’t happy with me.

Feel lonely cause they

didn’t want to be my friend.

Can’t ask they’ll say no

I will not tell the teacher

Hate this place, left out

Feeling scared.

People are whispering

they’ll reject so I just play by myself

Left out

and I want to go.

I am Chloe

why is she so shy?

should I smile back?

should I be her friend?

why next to me

eww I don’t like her

she has poor clothes


she’s poor

has no friends

I never want to be her friend

laughing because she was sitting by herself and

has a pretty party dress but looks like

second-hand store

Why am I being so mean?

Should I say sorry?

Should I play with her? She is nice to ask.

Why am I being so mean

Should I compliment her

Her dress is pretty but it’s used.

Maybe it’s new.

Why won’t she come over

Where did she go?

Should have been kind.

why didn’t I smile back?

Why was I so mean?

When will she come back

Want to smile back

be nice to Maya.

Tomorrow’s the last day in our picture book series. We’re reading One Green Apple.


Thank you, Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey and Tara of Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the Slice of Life March Story Challenge. Read other bloggers slices here. 11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

13 thoughts on “#SOL15: Day 20, Voices Found in Story

  1. Love this!!!! We read both those books too! Love, love. love the poem idea. Brilliant! Are you going to do a character poem of One Green Apple too? Please do share if you do. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Powerful found poem from each voice. Your students will have a whole new thought process towards the books they read after all this thinking and discovering, as they find themselves in the book.

  3. Julieanne,
    The found poems really capture the essence for the students. Great way to get into POV and move to depth when writing about reading. You have some “true understanding” here!!! BRAVO!

  4. There’s so much I want to say about all of this! I LOVE this book and love how you had your students respond to it. The found poems are touching and brilliant and compassionate and amazing!!! I will borrow this read aloud and response idea. Thank you for being so open and willing to share these powerful lessons. You are the best, Julieanne!

  5. This is deep, important work. I’m so glad you’re doing it with your students. Their responses are rich thanks to your wonderful teaching and the stellar text you had them use. I’m sure their responses to the Bunting book will be exceptional as well.

  6. I agree with Stacey about the deep, important work you are doing with your students. I can imagine creating a found poem from students’ responses and sharing it with them also places a value on their voices which in turn gives them more confidence to write authentically.

  7. You had a fabulous reading week with your students with high level, intensive, and interesting discussions. I am glad that you have shared your lessons with us.

  8. All of your posts this week have been so inspiring, Julieanne. You have led your students to some amazing, insightful thinking. Thank you so much for sharing this important work.

  9. What a breath of fresh air your read aloud week must have been. I love your poem based on your kids’ responses. Each Kindness is such a beautiful story, and message. Surely it is one they will carry on with them

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