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Writing Across the Curriculum: Exploring the 6 Traits


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A workshop designed to look at the basics of the 6 traits and how they can apply to the teaching of writing across the curriculum

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Writing Across the Curriculum: Exploring the 6 Traits

  1. 1. WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM Exploring the 6 Traits Shanghai American School, Pudong Campus Shanghai, China February 11, 2008 Presenter: Fay Leong
  2. 2. Expectations? <ul><li>What do you </li></ul><ul><li>hope </li></ul><ul><li>to get out of this </li></ul><ul><li>workshop? </li></ul>
  3. 3. How do you feel about teaching writing? Edvard Munch, The Scream , 1893
  4. 4. Why do we write? <ul><li>The reason one writes isn't the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say. </li></ul><ul><li>F. Scott Fitzgerald </li></ul>
  5. 5. Essential questions
  6. 6. What kind of writing do we expect our students to be learning/doing?
  7. 7. Once we know the purpose, what characteristics make good writing?
  8. 8. Writing Frameworks
  9. 9. No framework = a big mess
  10. 10. <ul><li>When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.   </li></ul><ul><li>Enrique Jardiel Poncela </li></ul><ul><li>(Spanish playwright, 1901 – 1952) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Different frameworks <ul><li>6+1 Traits </li></ul><ul><li>RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>To use any framework you must first decide on the form of writing that you want </li></ul>
  13. 13. Different Forms <ul><li>One example: </li></ul><ul><li>Recount - the news, events, timelines ; </li></ul><ul><li>Procedure - flowcharts, recipes ; </li></ul><ul><li>Description - events, objects, points of view ; </li></ul><ul><li>Report - order and manipulate information ; </li></ul><ul><li>Explanation - cause and effect, how and why ; </li></ul><ul><li>Argument - generate and evaluate solutions to problems ; </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion - perspective, evaluation, thinking </li></ul><ul><li>David Whitehead, Writing Frameworks: Easy-to-Use Structures for Creating Confident, Successful Writers, 2003 </li></ul>
  14. 14. 6+1 Traits
  15. 15. What is the 6+1 Traits format? <ul><li>Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Word Choice </li></ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence Fluency </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul>Traits are simply the building blocks of writing
  16. 16. Ideas <ul><li>Required content </li></ul><ul><li>Key focus should be obvious - supported by relevant details that expand on that focus </li></ul><ul><li>Message clearly conveyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Not predictable </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting insight/depth within the theme </li></ul>
  17. 17. Organization <ul><li>A strong framework/structure </li></ul><ul><li>Central idea maintained throughout </li></ul><ul><li>Must suit the purpose (report, analysis, expository) </li></ul><ul><li>Has a clear beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Direction is obvious and controlled throughout – providing substance </li></ul><ul><li>Connections between ideas provide the foundation of the piece/structure </li></ul><ul><li>Has an emphatic ending that brings closure to the central idea/theme </li></ul>
  18. 18. Voice <ul><li>The writer behind the words is obvious </li></ul><ul><li>A clear sense of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>‘Jumps’ off the page </li></ul><ul><li>How do you want to help the student create this? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. </li></ul><ul><li>Ray Bradbury </li></ul>
  20. 20. Word Choice <ul><li>The language suits the purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Precise </li></ul><ul><li>Rich </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Writer has carefully chosen words that gives depth to the ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Careful use of everyday words as well as subject specific vocabulary </li></ul>
  21. 21. Sentence Fluency <ul><li>Is the writing stilted? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it confusing? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the writing help the message/story/report, or does it obscure it? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conventions <ul><li>Mechanics – Depends on grade level and standards and benchmarks for that subject </li></ul><ul><li>Correct usage of grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Paragraphing </li></ul><ul><li>Use of capitals </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuation. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Presentation <ul><li>Decide on the visual and verbal elements </li></ul><ul><li>Subject specific </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent on the purpose of the piece </li></ul>
  24. 24. Writing Assessments
  25. 25. Creating Writing Assessments <ul><li>P urpose </li></ul><ul><li>P rocess </li></ul><ul><li>P roduct </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you want from your students </li></ul>
  26. 26. Things to think about <ul><li>From K-12, what forms of writing does your subject expect (a writing continuum)? </li></ul><ul><li>At your grade level, what processes do you want them to have? </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Continuum + Skills + Content </li></ul><ul><li>Required Assessments </li></ul>
  28. 28. Rubrics: Scoring writing assessments
  29. 29. Rubrics: the positives <ul><li>Outlines what’s expected </li></ul><ul><li>Makes sure teacher and student have worked out the requirements of the assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Good check-in </li></ul><ul><li>Grading process is clear </li></ul>
  30. 30. Rubrics: the negatives <ul><li>Do students really read them? </li></ul><ul><li>Time-consuming to make </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome is sometimes not a good fit to the letter/number grade </li></ul>
  31. 31. I need direction! <ul><li>Know the purpose of your assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your grading criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Set up your basic rubrics for the criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Modify 6 Traits examples for specific ideas/content and organization </li></ul>
  32. 32. To Re-cap
  33. 33. <ul><li>Ask yourself: </li></ul><ul><li>What is your writing continuum (K-12) within your subject? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want to have at your level? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the students coming from? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are they going? </li></ul><ul><li>Where can we come together across the curriculum to help our students be confident writers no matter what the content or genre? </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>The pen is the tongue of the mind </li></ul><ul><li>Miguel de Cervantes </li></ul>
  35. 35. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Art of Europe, Munch – The Scream , </li></ul><ul><li>Camel smile, Aha Jokes, </li></ul><ul><li>Daredevils: human pyramid, /.../pg26jan2003/26012003.html </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas, </li></ul><ul><li>Keystone Search, </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Resources, ... </li></ul><ul><li>Northwestern Regional Educational Laboratory, 6+1 Trait® Writing, </li></ul><ul><li>Pocket compass, The Magnetic Compass: History, </li></ul><ul><li>Tom’s cartoons, Mad Faces, /.../? tutnr =2 </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Frameworks, Silver Creek CSD, October 30, 2006, </li></ul>