1. Introduction
  2. Teach It 
  3. Dig Deeper


This segment focuses on the role of voice/style in writing and art. It uses works of painters Joel Babb and Phil Barter to illustrate distinctive styles and the importance of maintaining a consistent style. The value of maintaining a consistent voice to produce effective writing is also discussed.

Time: 45-50 minute period


  • Students will identify the use of style/voice in music, writing, and art examples.
  • Students will explain the importance of style/voice in art and writing.
  • Students will assess their own writing and writing of a peer for evidence of consistent voice.
  • Students will revise writing to reflect a consistent and appropriate voice for the intended audience.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

  • R.CCR.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • W.CCR.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.CCR.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.CCR.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • SL.CCR.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • SL.CCR.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • L.CCR.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

Maine Learning Results Visual and Performing Arts Standards:

  • A2 Elements of Art and Principles of Design – Visual Arts
  • A3 Media, Tools, Techniques, and Processes
  • D1 Aesthetics and Criticism
  • E2 The Arts and Other Disciplines

Segment Vocabulary:

fragmented, distinctive, subjective, abstract, photo-realistic, depict
Word Wall

Teach It

Prior to viewing:

Select two songs from different genres to play for the class, print or display three distinct pieces of art and print or display three different excerpts of writing to use in this activity.

Explain to students that they are going to be focusing on recognizing style, or voice, in art and writing.  Tell them that they will be hearing, reading and seeing various examples of voice in music, writing and art.  They will need to analyze each example carefully and write the word or words that describe the voice or style of each example. Distribute post-it notes to students.  Write Song #1 and Song #2 on the board.   Play each song and ask students to stick their post-it note word(s) near each title.  Next, have students rotate through each of the other examples and leave their post-it note word(s).  When everyone has finished, choose one piece of writing and one piece of art and read through the collection of post-it notes.  Ask students to note similarities and differences.

Ask students to think about why style and voice are important in writing and art as they watch the video segment.

Think Pair Share:

Ask students to explain why style and voice are important in writing and art.

Link to Think Pair Share

Writing Through Art Activity:

Ask students to revisit the writing they have completed on the specific image. Instruct them to read through their piece with an eye and ear toward the style of the piece. Do they have a consistent voice and style throughout or do they need to make changes? Have they used a consistent verb tense?

Then, have students share their writing with a partner. Partners should read each piece and provide feedback on the evidence of voice in the piece.

Dig Deeper

Note: If students created a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast art and writing in the first segment, revisit the diagram and make any necessary additions or corrections based on this segment.

Provide students with an opportunity to practice different writing styles. Present an image from Bates Museum of Art and tell students they will be making up a story about the image. Ask students to choose one style/voice (i.e. confident, amazed, horrified, timid, courageous, thoughtful, profound, funny) and write a distinct paragraph that highlights the emotion.  Then, have them select two additional emotions and write two additional paragraphs about the same image with completely different styles/voices. Students could share their paragraphs and ask peers to identify the style/voice the author used.

Have students find multiple images that depict the same place or idea. Ask them to explain how the images are alike and different; which style they prefer and why.

Link to teachers inspiring lessons:

Genres for writing music and art