Writing with sounds

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Bedhead is a great story that is full of voice. This lesson points out how the author uses sounds in their writing to help bring the story alive, and create voice.

This lesson was originally used with 4th graders.

  • Read Bedhead by Margie Palatini
  • Ask the kids if they liked the story. Have them tell their seat partner what the author did that made the story fun.
  • Focus on the use of sounds. If you have a document camera, flip through the book and revisit the pages that use sounds (Shuffle-slump, Boing, Boing boing bink-bink boing etc.)
  • Have the students revisit an old piece of writing, or a work in progress, and add some appropriate sound to it.


  • Pass out the flow map outlining a similar story about Oliver when he was having another bad day. Allow students to use the ideas outlined in the flow map to write a paragraph about Oliver's day. Challenge them to start their story with a sound, and to use sounds at least two other times in their story. Then allow children to share their stories with each other.
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