About Writing

Innovative Writing Program Helps High Schools

Author: University of Arizona – University Relations Summary: This news article describes the Wildcat Writers, an innovative service learning and writing program housed in the University of Arizona. By exploring topics like censorship, designing infographics, producing novels, and organizing campus events, the high school writers learned how to promote literacy,...

Teaching Grammar in Context: One Approach

Author: Harriett Williams Summary: A secondary teacher describes an approach she calls “pedagogical grammar”—a grammar that enables the teacher to turn linguistic features of the language into tools to improve the competence of student writers. By helping students to incorporate specific grammatical structures into early drafts of their own writing...

The How of Writing: First-Graders Learn Craft

Author: Glorianne Bradshaw Summary: Inspired by the ways upper grade teachers use mentor texts to generate more interesting student writing, Bradshaw uses the Frog and Toad books to teach writing to her first graders, demonstrating sentence variety, show-not-tell, onomatopoeia, the “good beginning,” and other techniques. This resource also shows the...

The Landscape of Digital Writing

Author: National Writing Project, with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks Summary: This first chapter of Because Digital Writing Matters explores the new digital landscape for writing, examining both the complexities and challenges of digital writing for teachers and students, and unpacking what is necessary for educators and...

When Do Children Learn to Write? Earlier Than You Might Think

Author: Rebecca Treiman and Lori Markson Summary: Two developmental psychology scholars break down the beginnings of young children’s writing, with links to relevant research. This article could be useful for early childhood educators seeking to learn more about emphasizing writing in their literacy instruction, or aiming to advocate for the...

Poet Laureate Kay Ryan: Poet as Teacher, Teacher as Poet

Author: Grant Faulkner Summary: U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan has honed the art of simplicity in both her teaching and her writing. Her writing instruction focused on “the miniature arena of the paragraph,” and her poems, which often use cliché in striking, unexpected ways, are both pithy and nuanced.

Planning for Writing Instruction

Author: Mark Overmeyer Summary: In this brief tip from his book, When Writing Workshop Isn’t Working, Mark Overmeyer describes a process of collaborative backward planning that provides a scope and sequence for the year that meets district curriculum requirements, allows for the study of genres connected to various disciplines and...

Writing to Transform: Teacher-Consultants Lead Change in Their Schools

Author: Linda Friedrich Summary: What do successful teacher leaders do? This short article suggests an emergent framework from a larger study about teacher leadership. Leaders address problems, facilitate collective learning, and celebrate the work of writing. This article could be powerful to read and discuss at a continuity event on...

In Common: Effective Writing for All Students—A Collection of K-12 Argument/Opinion Writing Samples

Author: The Vermont Writing Collaborative, Student Achievement Partners, CCSSO Summary: This collection, available online or as a PDF, contains a wide variety of K-12 student argument and opinion writing samples, accompanied by annotations using the language of the Common Core State Standards. These samples could be useful for professional development...

Writing from the Feather Circle

Author: G. Lynn Nelson Summary: In this resource, a writing teacher from Arizona applies the Native American feather circle to the teaching of writing and describes her work teaching sections of first-year composition exclusively for Native American students. The feather circle focuses on speaking from the heart; in the classroom...