Intro to vocal variations and their use for different characters


Students will understand what each vocal variation is – pitch, tempo,
tone and volume. They will consciously use each variation in a group game
then individually when they read a children’s story reading.


Materials needed

children’s book Monster at the End of This Book, dry erase
markers and white board, a number of children’s books for students to
choose from.



game: Master, Master Who Am I?


Start in a Drama circle. Choose one participant to be Master and to be blindfolded. Tell the Master they are to listen carefully and try to identify the owner of the mysterious voice. Choose another member to say the words “Master, master, who am I?” in a different voice. The blindfolded Master has to guess who is speaking. Continue with different students disguising their voices as they say “Master, master, who am I?”


Discussion/Instruction – Ask students how they disguised their voices. What did
they do specifically? As they answer list their responses on the board in four
columns that will eventually have the four vocal variations as headings
(tempo, pitch, volume and tone). When they have exhausted their answers
put the variation heading over each column.
Have students take notes in journal.


Model – read Monster at the End of This Book to class


Discuss – Ask students how different vocal variations were used to create different
voices. Point out specific variations on board as they are mentioned or
described. Ask students if they have ever heard voices that don’t use one or
a number of variations (monotone speaking, someone who always speaks
very quietly, or very quickly, etc)? Invite the students demonstrate or
describe some of the voices they’ve heard.


Guided Practice – sit in circle, hand out slips with different characters. Have
students say a line using at least one vocal variation to create character.
Exchange with another student and create a new character with different vocal variations. Continue until all students have had at least 3 turns.


Practice – have students choose a couple paragraphs from a children’s story to
present to the class using vocal variations to represent one character.
Present to class. (Performances may go into day 2)


Closer – Have each student record in their journal the character they read and the
specific vocal variations they used to create that character and something
they discovered in this experience. If time, ask if any are willing to share
with class.