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Discovering Voice Encourages Students to Find Their Own Voice in Writing


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – March. 4, 2015 – Capstone Professional, publisher of professional development resources and services for preK-12 educators, announces the publication of Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text, a collection of classroom exercises for middle and high school students offering practice opportunities with complex text. In Discovering Voice, literacy education leader Nancy Dean has crafted lessons covering the elements of voice, such as diction, detail, and figurative language, imagery, syntax, and tone, for students to understand voice in what they read and to encourage them to develop a strong, personal voice in their own writing.

In this fully revised edition of the 2006 publication, Dean has updated her book to reflect the changing landscape of education with the initiative on close reading of complex text and increased attention on accountability, college- and career-readiness skills for students, and high expectations for students’ writing.

"Discovering Voice engages students in the conscious choices writers make as they create an experience for their readers. The book examines the elements of voice (diction, detail, figurative language, imagery, and tone), shows how expert writers of both fiction and nonfiction use these elements to create an effect, and helps students use the elements of voice in their own writing. Discovering Voice unlocks the door to close reading of complex text with practical lessons that can supplement any existing curriculum," said Dean.

Each lesson includes a quotation selected from a wide range of fiction and nonfiction text, two discussion questions, and an exercise that encourages students to practice what they have learned about the elements of voice. The lessons provide focused practice for a specific element of voice and take only 10-20 minutes of classroom time.

"The revised edition of Discovering Voice guides students to the elements of strong writing with meaningful passages and purposeful, thought-provoking questions. It is with this edition that students will continue to be successful readers and writers," said Capstone Professional Acquisitions Editor Karen Soll.

Previews of the book, including the table of contents, preface, and sample lesson plans are available at:

Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text 

By Nancy Dean

ISBN: 978-1-62521-933-6     e-Book ISBN: 978-1-62521-943-5

$24.95 paperback                   $19.95 e-Book

160 pages

Pub Date: February 2015 

About the Author

Nancy Dean, professor emerita at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, University of Florida, is an experienced teacher, literacy coach, and curriculum specialist. Committed to school improvement and meaningful professional development, Nancy has worked extensively with teachers and school leaders in both urban and rural schools throughout the United States. She is the Associate Director for Professional Learning at the National Literacy Project and a national consultant in secondary literacy and literacy leadership. Nancy is a co-author of several books on adolescent literacy and the author of Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone and Discovering Voice: Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text.

Praise for Discovering Voice

“The implementation of not just the Common Core State Standards but new, more rigorous standards that have been adopted in many states necessitates that we expose our students to complex text and allow them to grapple with and explore those texts. However, finding just the right text is often the most challenging task teachers face. In her updated version of Discovering Voice, Nancy has done that work for us with short manageable texts that will ensure student success. The beauty of her book is that she takes those texts beyond reading for understanding and uses them as mentor texts to scaffold student writing.”

-Lauren Pantoja, ICT Literacy Coach, Chasco Middle School, Port Richey, FL and co-authorof Teaching Syllable Patterns: Shortcut to Fluency and Comprehension for Striving Adolescent Readers (Maupin House 2009)


About Capstone Professional

Capstone Professional publishes educational resources under the imprint of Maupin House. Their materials support K-12 educators as they create 21st century classrooms and respond to the demands of state and national standards, such as the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards. Capstone Professional focuses on topics such as reading comprehension, close reading, writing in the content areas, teaching with graphics in the classroom, and creating safe school environments. Capstone Professional authors are educators and consultants, teachers and experts in their fields. A tenet for Capstone Professional is to support teachers, administrators, content-area specialists, students, and parents in becoming engaged in content and excited about learning. Professional development offerings by Capstone Professional range from webinars and workshops to conference speakers and author visits. Submissions for products that speak to the needs of educators today are always accepted. For more information, visit  or