Natural-born writers seem to pick up the individual skills required to become a good writer with ease and with minimal help from others. Most children require explicit instruction in writing skills though. So how do you provide explicit writing instruction?
Teach grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. This is not just your typical grammar lessons. This involves having children apply what they are learning to their own writing. Teach them how to proofread and edit their own work.
Use graphic organizers. Graphic organizers include a variety of worksheets that children can use to organize their thoughts and brainstorming ideas.
Teach the writing process in steps. This may include identifying the purpose of writing, brainstorming ideas, identifying text evidence if the writing is based on a reading passage, and cite evidence.
Give them strategies to help. Acronyms and mnemonic devices can help children remember the processes in writing. For example, you could use the acronym TREE (Topic students — what you believe; Reasons — why you believe it; Explain your reasons; and End it with a concluding sentence).
Teach writing across content areas. This is especially helpful when you have a child who doesn’t like writing. Writing can be taught off and on throughout the day as you teach other subjects that require written responses.
These are just a few of the possible instructional strategies for writing. What others do you use? Please comment and let us know!