The Teacher Tip

Read Aloud to Teach Voice

October 6, 2017

Adapted from Teaching Nonfiction Revision by Sneed B. Collard and Vicki Spandel. 

Almost nothing helps young writers understand voice as much as hearing good writing read aloud. You don’t need to read a whole book. Open writing time with a short voice-filled passage like this one from A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeChristofano (2012): 

“From the headlines, you’d think that black holes were beasts with endless appetites, lying in wait for the next meal. By some reports, they are ‘runaway’ out-of-control ‘predators’ that ‘feed’ on galaxies, only to ‘belch’ and ‘spit out’ what they don’t eat” (2).

As you share your found examples, ask students “What creates the voice in this passage?” 

To learn more about Teaching Nonfiction Revision, and to download a sample chapter, visit

The Heinemann Teacher Tip app is a free download.

App Store Google Play Store