Writing across the curriculum
6+1 Writing Traits
Improving Writing Skills—Essential
Individual and specific
Variety of tools
Accessible to all learning styles
All subject areas
Variety of text structures
Criteria for feedback clearly stated
Writing connected to reading
To get better at reading you read
To get better at writing you write
Free response as a formative measure of writing
Read a selection aloud—stop and ask students to
Write a sentence or draw a picture (younger
Responses about content, character, or vocabulary
Responses may include:
What do you like or dislike about the text
Where does the selection take place?
How does it make you feel?
What do you predict will happen?
How does the character remind you of
someone you know?
How does the text connect to you and your
Think, pair, share or turn to your neighbor
Reread your response to yourself
Still agree with your response?
No right or wrong answers
At first it may be summary types of response—that is what students are
Expands on ideas
Improves sentence fluency
Gives voice to writing
Improves comprehension of reading
Using responses to improve writing:
Short and choppy or run-on
Start all sentences the same way
Simple or more complex sentences (Adjectives, adverbs)
Strong action verbs
Take risks with new words or voice
Improving writing at the
Building better sentences
Pictures give kids words—Paint a picture using words
Write down their responses
Model conventions—Use word sentence to discuss what you are writing
Choose action words rather than passive words
Pattern—who, action, finish the thought (Three box sentences)
Add descriptors—Adjectives and adverbs
Add phrases and clauses (four box sentences)
Three block writing
Four block writing
Moving to paragraphs
Number word included
Situation/stand (starter words)
Ask a question—paragraph will answer the question
My name is_____ and today I will tell you about….
In this paper, I will tell you about…..
I’m going to write about….
First, second, third—level one
Transition words and phrases
Repetition of word or thought, pattern
Repeat of topic sentence with different words
Words that signal a conclusion
Examples and non examples of good
Good conclusive words
As a result
All in all
That is all
I hope you like my paper
Short and Sweet
Summary or Retell?
Summary>3rd or 4th Grade
Retell< 3rd or 4th Grade
Main idea and details (Sometimes
Lengthy, may contain information
not necessarily found in the text
Short, sequential, few details
A Good Summary should….
Significantly shorter than original text
Paraphrasing using own words not directly copied from text
Big ideas in sequential order
Eliminate most details (especially fluff)
No personal opinions
No outside information not found in text.
Writing a good summary—Step 1: Topic
Name it (name of article and author)
Verb it (What it does)
Big picture (What does it tell me, what does it say?)
List of verbs: tells, shows, describes, explains, discusses, listts, explores,
illustrates, teaches, compares, contrasts
Write a summary Step 2—Paraphrase big
Jot dots using rule of 5 (five or less words)
Encourages paraphrasing and chunking
4-6 jot dots (most of the time)
Beginning, middle, end. (sequential)
Main ideas from story.
Write a summary: Step 3 Write out loud
Turn to a neighbor and orally write you summary from your topic sentence
and jot dots
Turn each jot dot into a complete sentence
Helps clarify ideas
Write a summary Step 4 and 5
4: Keep plan close by to refer back to.
5. Write the summary
Response to Literature—Summary plus
Personal connections—to self, world, or other text
Author’s message or lesson, including a personal comment