Lesson 7: The Storm


Activity 1: Identifying Voice

Remember that voice is what gives writing a personality and what distinguishes it from what others have written. The author, Sharon Creech, gives each of the characters in the novel his or her own distinguishable voice. You can identify the characters' personalities through their thoughts and actions.

On page 1 of the "Identifying Voice" activity, read each quote from the novel and decide if it written in the voice of Sophie, Cody, or Brian.

On page 2 of the activity, read the scenario and decide how the three characters would respond to the given situation. For each character, write a quote the character might say and what his or her thoughts or actions might be.
Student Activity Page
Student Activity Page
Use the answer key to check your child's answers. Encourage your child to share the sentences he developed.
Answer Key: Identifying Voice (Page 1)
Brian"Here's the list. I figure we will also need a list of the equipment we will need."

"And which mother are you talking about, anyway?"
Cody"Ahoy! Blast Off!"

"It's a cute little peep, isn't it?"

"Maybe we have entered some kind of weird place where the seas always rage and the wind always howls, and maybe we are going in large circles and will never escape and eventually we will die of hunger."

"But if you think about it - if you conquered the thing that scared you the most, then maybe you'd feel - I don't know - you'd feel free or something."
Sophie"I love to see the dolphins. I feel as if they are messengers for me."
Answer Key: Identifying Voice (Page 2)
The answers for page 2 should reflect the general personality of the character. Answers will vary, but Sophie's quote should be thoughtful, introspective, insightful, and maybe even poetic. Her response might include repetitive phrases like "the sea, the sea, the sea" or "the ship, the ship, we see a ship." Cody's response might include words like "thingy" and "sail-a-ma-jig." His response will probably be joking and energetic, trying to make light of the situation even if he is a bit worried about the ship. Brian's response will be very analytical. He might immediately begin making a list of things to do or notice something specific about the ship. He will probably also be worried about the other ship's intentions.

Activity 2: Similes and Personification

The author of The Wanderer uses different language techniques to describe the ocean in creative ways to help the reader feel its power, force, and beauty. Figurative language is a writing technique that creates images in the mind of the reader. Personification and similesare two common examples of figurative language techniques.
  • A simile is a comparison between two seemingly unrelated subjects that uses "like" or "as." The boy sneaking around the house was like a fox.
  • Personification is when a writer gives inanimate objects, ideas, or animals human characteristics. The flowers danced in the breeze.
Ask your parent which "Similes and Personification" sheet to complete.
Select either Option 1 or 2 for your child. Option 1 requires the child to identify the use of personification and similes in the book and then use personification and similes in sentences about the ocean. Option 2 is more advanced and requires the child to use personification and similes to describe his or her favorite natural place.

Option 1

On this page, you will find quotes from the novel. Identify each quote as either personification or a simile. If it is personification, record what is being personified and what the human characteristics are. If it is a simile, record the two things being compared. At the bottom of the page, you will describe the ocean using similes and personification.
Answer Key: Similes and Personification (Option 1)

"The waves are more fierce, cresting and toppling over like leering drooling monsters spewing heavy streaks of foal through the air." — simile comparing the waves to monsters

"Sometimes it [sea] is calm and smooth, as if it were asleep; and sometimes it is playful, splashing and rolling; and sometimes it angry and knocks us about." — personification, the sea is given the characteristics of being playful and angry

"We're [the crew] like wee grains of sand out here, surrounded by a tremendous energy that could pulverize us into a zillion atoms." — simile comparing the crew to grains of sand

"It [sun] wrapped us all in the most brilliant light..." — personification, the sun wrapping something

"I [Sophie] was on my back, like a turtle, arms and legs flailing for something to grab onto." — simile comparing Sophie's position on her back to a turtle turned over on its shell.

Option 2

Practice using figurative language in your own writing. Write about your favorite nature spot to visit; be sure to use similes and personification in the passage.
Check your child's writing to be sure he used similes and personification.