Skip to main content

Inside Writing Communities, Grades 3-5

Program 8: Teaching a Specific Writing Strategy

Silvia Edgerton teaches her fifth-grade students how to make their writing more vivid by zooming in on details, shown in a lesson unfolding over several days.

View Transcript

Notebook.

Watch the 30-minute video “Teaching a Specific Writing Strategy.” Apply what you have learned in “Teaching the Writing Craft” as you watch the extended video of classroom examples.

Answer the questions that follow each segment, jotting down your answers in your notebook or using them as discussion starters.

Silvia Edgerton’s Class

In this segment, Silvia Edgerton introduces her students to a new revision strategy in a lesson that spans multiple days. (If you are watching the video in segments, you will find this image at the beginning of the segment, approximately two minutes into the video.)

  • What is the benefit of allowing students to talk through a strategy together before trying it independently?
  • List the various ways Silvia presents the idea of “zooming in” to her students. What are the advantages of using this approach to teach a new writing strategy?

Silvia Edgerton: Lesson Background (PDF)

Mark Hardy’s Class

In this segment, Mark Hardy introduces his students to the writing habits they will learn to adopt in his classroom.  (If you are watching the video in segments, you will find this image at the beginning of the segment, approximately 13 minutes into the video.)

  • Mark uses a “fishbowl” approach to model the strategy he wants his students to employ as they talk with their partners about their writing work. How is this an effective way to teach a new strategy?
  • Mark uses charts as visual cues to help students remember important information about the strategies he is teaching. What role do these charts play in nurturing independence in Mark’s students?

Mark Hardy: Lesson Background (PDF)