Using Exemplary Writing
In order to learn how to write well, students need to be provided with a wide range of models for each of the writing skills that are taught. In this activity, you will begin to create a reference collection of children's books to use as models for teaching writing. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.
- Reread the article by McElveen and Dierking, focusing on the following ideas:
- writing skills
- books used as models
- the structure of a mini-lesson
- Choose three target writing skills that are important in your writing program, such as good leads, use of dialogue, and use of adjectives.
- Find three books (or portions of books) that present clear examples of each target skill.
- Complete the Using Exemplary Writing Chart (PDF)
- Develop a lesson with three parts:
- Model and Demonstration
- Guided Practice
- Independent Application
For example, if your target skill is creating an engaging lead, you could read the first page of several books and discuss how they hook the reader. For guided practice, put a piece of writing on an overhead and have the group rewrite several different opening sentences and discuss how they improve readers' engagement. Finally, have students take a sample of their own writing and revise the lead.