Exploring diverse voices in literature: analysing and creating narrative voice

Last updated: 06/07/2022
Contributor: Beth Kemp
Exploring diverse voices in literature: analysing and creating narrative voice
Main Subject
Key stage
Resource type
Complete lesson
Student activity

KS3-4 students explore an extract from Tanya Byrne's young adult novel, Heart-Shaped Bruise, published in 2012. They explore how the writer constructs the voice of the character at the beginning of the novel, through a letter, before creating their own character.

The classroom worksheet includes three carefully scaffolded tasks to build their analytical skills and understanding of a writer's craft, including selecting appropriate quotations from the text and writing about effect. Students also consider the impact of the writer's choice of techniques, including the following: 

  • Pronouns (‘I’,‘you’)
  • Hyperbole
  • Sentence length
  • Direct tone
  • Questions
  • Direct address
  • Simile
  • Imperatives
  • Suspense

They then plan their own GCSE-style creative writing task and create their own character, before writing their text. 

This resource is designed to introduce students to diverse writers and  characters, as part of our Diversity in literature collection. 

An extract from the teaching resource: 

GCSE core skill 2: Writing about effect

Look at the statements below which describe the effect of the writer’s use of language and literary techniques.

Choose four of them and match them to points from task one. Check whether the evidence (quotation) you chose is appropriate, or if there is a better choice. Put it all together to make a complete analytical sentence.

For example:

The writer uses first person pronoun ‘I’ to introduce the character of Emily through her own words, helping reader to understand her perspective and creating a feeling of intimacy with the character.

Remember to use the shortest — but still fully useful — quotation possible. You may rephrase the point to embed your quotation.


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