Dovey Coe Lesson Plan
- Grades: 6–8
About this book
Subject Area: Language Arts
Reading Level: 5.9
The Coe family has lived quietly in the high mountains of Indian Creek, North Carolina, for centuries. That is, until 12-year-old Dovey Coe is accused of murdering Parnell Caraway. Dovey may be headstrong and have a sharp tongue, but she has always been a loving girl, protecting her deaf brother, Amos, and looking out for her older sister. Needless to say, Dovey is none too happy when Parnell starts courting her pretty older sister. No matter how Parnell sweet talks the family and compliments Dovey's mother on her cooking, it is clear he thinks that Amos is a nuisance and a mistake. Dovey will do anything to protect her brother. But is she capable of murder?
Students will learn about the use of literary voice.
Standard: Student understands specific devices an author uses to accomplish his or her purpose (e.g., persuasive techniques, style, literary form or genre, portrayal of themes, language ) and writes using a range of strategies and literary devices.
- Start the discussion by asking students if there are certain people's voices they can recognize over the phone. Ask them how they know it's that person without seeing them.
- Read students the first few pages of Dovey Coe. Ask them how they could tell it was Dovey on the phone since they have never heard her voice. How can they identify her? Students will probably remark on her use of language and expressions.
- Tell them that although we can't hear a character's actual voice in a book, many authors give their characters a particular way of talking, so that they are easily identifiable.
After Reading Activity
- One way to identify an individual is through fingerprinting. Tell students that today we are going to investigate how the author creates Dovey's voice. Each student will be responsible for creating a "fingerprint" of Dovey's voice.
- Each student should write down phrases and expressions that give Dovey a sense of voice.
- Have each student cut out a hand shape and write the phrases and expressions they have chosen.
- Students should present their Dovey "fingerprints" to the class.
- Once students have become familiar with Dovey's voice, have them write a diary entry in Dovey's voice. Tell them to imagine that Dovey is now 16 years old. What is she thinking about? What has happened to her and her family in the last four years? Remind students to make sure they use Dovey's voice in the diary entry.
Other Books Featuring Characters With a Strong Voice
by A. M Holmes
A young boy finds out that his father is homosexual.
Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
The classic tale of a young man coming to terms with the world.
Teaching plan written by Gabrielle Nidus