Step Up To Writing
Effective Writing Instruction
Teaching writingthroughconsistency andplanning.
Good writing is developed through consistency and a plan. Step-Up-to-Writing is not a curriculum as much as it is a variety of toolsthat allow for consistent writing instruction for all grades, K-12. Thetools of Step-Up-to-Writing are used all day long, across all contentareas. Students need purposeful exposure to good writing as asource of inspiration and example.The PLAN is equally important. We often mistake a WEB chart ,VENN diagram or similar graphic organizer as a plan. These arebrainstorming tools that lead to lists, not proper writing. The T-Chart is an ideal plan for expository, informational writing. It issimple to introduce in Kindergarten and use through 12
gradeand into college. It builds, yet is simple and highly functional.
The planning stage of the writingprocess is extremely important. The traffic light colors are not only usedon the T-Chart plan. Give students acopy of well-written text and have them highlight the noted parts with the corresponding traffic light color.
This “green” means - GO tell the audience what you are going towrite about. It is the introduction. In K1 this is the topic sentence. By 3
thisis the opening paragraph. In 2
, thereis a transition between the two.
BIG IDEAS / MAINPOINTS
Slow down and look closely at theimportant information. These are themain, key or star ideas. This is alsowhere the transition words come intoplay. In K2 the transition words are traditional (First, Then, Next, Finally)by 3
the students will be ready formore complex and hidden transitionwords because they will havemastered the process. In K2 this arepart of 1 paragraph. By 3
grade,each yellow (big idea/main point) is aparagraph.
Details and bulleted ideas, not sentences, whichsupport each yellow. This is not used in K. In 1
useone, in 2
, use two. 3
grade and up use as many asneeded. These are the elaborations that make your writingmore interesting and believable.
I call this “go back green” with my first graders.For the most part, we are simply restating the openingsentence in a slightly modified way. As the kids mature aswriters they need to be taught this sentence (paragraphfor older kids) should be confident and complete. Its job is to leave the reader feeling something and remembering. Itsummarizes the piece. This is NOT “Thank you for readingmy story”, or “THE END”. Students need to know writingMUST have a conclusion