Lesson 3: Juggling

Getting Started

Today you will explore ways to integrate voice into your writing. Voice refers to the personality and emotions that are reflected in a writer's work. As you read the novel, you will begin to identify, understand, and empathize with the voices of Sophie and Cody as they document their experiences in their journals.

Stuff You Need

  • The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
  • blue, gray, and black seed beads
  • fourteen 1 1/16" safety pins
  • one 2" safety pin

Ideas to Think About

  • How does a writer's voice put the reader in touch with the writer's emotions and ideas?

Things to Know

  • Voice refers to the personality and emotions that are reflected in a writer's work.


  • Interpreting text by explaining elements such as point of view, characterization, and style. (LA)
  • Analyze the effects of the author's craft on the reader/viewer/listener. (LA)
  • Narrate an expressive account, which tells a story or establishes the significance of an event or events. (LA)
  • Examine alternate perspectives. (LA)

Introducing the Lesson

Today your child will explore the importance of voice in writing. Voice is the unique personality reflected in writing. In The Wanderer, Cody and Sophie each have a unique voice in their journal entries.

Read a few sentences from the book and encourage your child to identify the voice.

Read the following passages to your child:

#1 : We all boarded the ship. It was finally time to leave. Everything had been fixed and everyone was excited.

#2 : Eagerly, we boarded the ship - all of us wondering what adventures lay before us. We had been sitting around for what felt like an eternity - fixing this, tightening that. As I looked across the water, I could hardly contain my excitement but didn't want to appear over eager.

Discuss which piece of writing was better and why. Explain that voice is what gives your writing a personality and what makes it enjoyable. Voice has passion, captures a mood or a tone, and speaks to the reader.
Reading and Questions
Materials: The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Read Chapters 8-14 in the book and answer the following questions in complete sentences. Also pick 2-3 questions to discuss with your parent.
  1. Why do you think the author chose to have two narrators for the story?
    Answers will vary.
  2. What is Cody teaching the crew?
    He is teaching them how to juggle.
  3. How does Cody feel about Sophie? (Use examples from the book to support your answer.)
    He doesn't like it when Brian says rude things to her. He enjoys being with her. Answers might include: He gets upset when Brian makes her feel uncomfortable about being adopted and tells Brian to leave her alone. He also tells Brian he likes Sophie more than him. Cody says, "Sophie's a lot easier to be around than anyone else on the boat." Cody thinks it's funny how much Sophie enjoys the simplest things.
  4. Would you want to have to catch and clean your own fish? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
Remember to use the "Character Timeline" you started in Lesson 2 to record words and phrases to describe Sophie and Cody in today's reading.