Even when a writing workshop is not used, some amount of in-class writing with teacher assistance is necessary to make sure that writers practice using the strategy being taught.
In a way, this gets back to identifying strategies worth teaching -- look for ones that are crucial to writing processes, such as strategies for planning particular types of writing, or for structuring texts certain ways.
Other studies support teaching students specific procedures for diagnosing and correcting their own writing problems. In studies of procedural facilitation, students were taught to evaluate their writing using question cards that helped them compare their writing to their original purpose, to diagnose any problems, and to operate to fix the problems to match their purpose (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1987). Researchers have also successfully used cognitive strategy instruction and to teach struggling writers procedures for planning and reviewing their writing (Harris and Graham, 1992).
Children’s initial attempts at descriptive reports often are “All About” reports that have little internal organization. Informational alphabet books and can be used to introduce kindergarten children to the writing of descriptive reports through shared or interactive writing. Older children can learn to develop categories of related attributes to organize their reports by using webs, concept maps, and software such as Inspiration and Kidspiration. Expectation outlines (Spiegel, 1981) are another strategy that can help students anticipate the categories of information found in a report.
We are happy to discuss your writing process and help you make efficient use of your writing time.We provide online handouts and multimedia writing strategy “demos” for use as teaching tools or as additional resources for your students.If you would like to discuss creating effective writing assignments, using writing activities in class, or supporting your student writers, you are welcome to with a Writing Center director.
This strategy guide explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers.
It's not easy surviving fourth grade (or third or fifth)! In this lesson, students brainstorm survival tips for future fourth graders and incorporate those tips into an essay.
Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.
Cause and Effect structure is used to show causal relationships between events. Cause and effect structures organize more sophisticated narratives as childen become more adept at showing the relationship between events. Young children also can begin to extend opinion essays by giving reasons to support their opinions using the word . Signal words for cause and effect structures also include , , and .
Research also shows the importance of integrating direct instruction into the writing process. Studies of classroom instructional modes have revealed that classrooms using an “environmental” mode of instruction, in which direct instruction was integrated into the writing process, were much more effective than classrooms that used the writing process alone. Unlike the “natural process” classrooms, which were characterized by low teacher input (a lack of direct instruction and guidance) and high student input, environmental classrooms were characterized by high input from both teachers and students, including both direct instruction and guided practice in small groups. The least effective classrooms, characterized by high teacher input and low student input, focused on teaching traditional grammar and provided students with few opportunities to evaluate or revise their own writing.
These preliminary results are confirmed by earlier research showing that teaching writing scales such as the Features of Effective Writing or the Six Traits improves the quality of students’ writing. In his meta-analysis of twenty-five years of writing research, George Hillocks (1986) concluded that writing scales were the most effective way to improve student writing.
This strategy guide explains how to use shared writing to teach students effective strategies that will improve their own independent writing ability.
North Carolina’s model of five Features of Effective Writing is similar to another model, the , on which there has been significant recent . Several studies show that the quality of writing improves when students are taught to use this model to evaluate their writing. In a study in Oregon, three fifth-grade classrooms where teachers taught the Six Traits as part of the writing process were compared to three classrooms in which students learned only the process. Students in the Six Traits classrooms scored higher on the state writing assessment than students in the process-only classrooms.