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Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

Writing Put It Into Practice | Writing

Choose Activities

In this section, you will build on what you have learned, and develop strategies you can use in your own classroom. The following activities are designed to help you promote the writing development of all of your students. Choose one or both of the activities from the list below.


Activity 1 –Using Exemplary Writing

In this activity, you will learn how to identify and use examples of good writing to help students improve specific skills.


Activity 2 –Supporting Struggling Writers

In this activity, you will consider each stage of the writing process, the difficulties some of your students encounter, and specific teaching strategies you can use to help them improve.

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:
    1. Model and Demonstration
    2. Guided Practice
    3. 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.

Supporting Struggling Writers

During a writing workshop, students engage in various stages of the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing. Students who struggle with writing often encounter difficulties in one or more of these stages. In this activity, you will consider each stage of the writing process, the difficulties some of your students encounter, and specific instructional supports you can provide. You may want to collaborate with a colleague in completing this activity. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.

  • First, review the article by Derek Furr, “Struggling Readers Get Hooked on Writing.”
  • Next, think about two or three of your students who struggle to compose a written piece. What specific difficulties do they have in each stage of the writing process?
  • Now, based on your readings and on the workshop video, what instructional strategies will assist your students during writing? Complete the Supporting Struggling Writers (PDF) chart to document your answers. Some examples are provided to assist you in your thinking.

Keep this list of instructional practices for planning writing activities in all subject areas. You may add to this list throughout the year.

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

Credits

Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2006.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-815-7

Workshops