Content Area Writing


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  • From Zissler, On Writing Well non fiction writing about student interests and questions makes non-fiction writing non-boring
  • Content Area Writing

    1. 1. Content Writing Writing to Learn
    2. 2. Key Concepts <ul><li>Part 1: Active engagement in subject matter through writing </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2: Standards and structures </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3: Writing: part of a better life </li></ul>
    3. 3. Today… <ul><li>What is written, published and demanded by readers is non-fiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Experts in all content areas agree that students need more writing instruction, </li></ul><ul><li>And teachers need to teach students to write well about the world in which they live. </li></ul>Experts: National Council for Teaching of Mathematics, National Science Educational Standards, National Council of Social Studies,
    4. 4. Students’ complain about writing… <ul><li>“We are forced to write what the teachers ask!” </li></ul>by Blaisr Writing about student interests and questions makes non-fiction writing non-boring.
    5. 5. Benefits of Content Writing <ul><li>Students get more actively engaged in the subject matter. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students understand information and concepts more deeply. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students make connections and raise questions more fluently. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students remember ideas longer and apply learning in new situations. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Active engagment in the subject matter <ul><li>“Best non fiction writing emerges from topics the writer knows, cares, and wonders about and wants to pursue.” Harvey, 1998 </li></ul>For more information about engagement in writing:
    7. 7. From On Writing Well by William Zinsser <ul><li>Students willingly write about subjects that touch their lives or at which they are skilled </li></ul><ul><li>Students learning to write are most comfortable with nonfiction </li></ul><ul><li>“Motivation is at the heart of writing…Go where your interests lies, or your heart or your passion” (Zinsser, 1990). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Understand information and concepts more deeply <ul><li>“ Writing provides a status of our thoughts and forces us to grapple with what we know and what we don’t know.” </li></ul><ul><li>Santa and Havens (1991) </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>“ The act of writing by its very nature may enhance thinking. Writing may achieve this by demanding the learner to organize knowledge.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Writing is an important tool for </li></ul><ul><li>transforming claims and evidence into </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge that is more coherent and </li></ul><ul><li>structured.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Effect of Talking and Writing on Learning Science: An Exploratory Study (Rivard amd Straw. 2000) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Long term retention of learning and application in new situations TALKING + WRITING = Improved Retention of Science Learning over time. (Rivard and Straw, 2000)
    11. 11. <ul><li>Writing may force the integration of new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>and relationships with prior knowledge and </li></ul><ul><li>encourage personal involvement with the new </li></ul><ul><li>information. </li></ul><ul><li>(Kleinsasser, et al, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>Written and oral language opportunities to </li></ul><ul><li>explain, describe, predict and integrate new </li></ul><ul><li>information allow students to make conceptual </li></ul><ul><li>shifts and facilitate retention. </li></ul><ul><li>(Fellows, 1994) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Make connections and raise questions more fluently <ul><li>Students search for answers to their own questions about their world. </li></ul>Computer Lab by Old Shoe Woman
    13. 13. Coherent Instruction … <ul><li>is teaching that connects. It connects the student’s reading skills to writing . It connects reading and writing to content . It links content learning to student interests. Coherent teaching makes it easy for students to learn because it combines the strange-new with the familiar-old . When the classroom is coherent, teachers help students make connections among reading, writing and content. </li></ul><ul><li>(Guthrie, 2000) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Related Video <ul><li>The Power of Non Fiction Writing by Doug Reeves (5 min.) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Part 2: Standards and Structures
    16. 16. Top 10 Reasons to Engage in Expository Writing “ Good non-fiction writing is ‘facts ignited by passion’”—Jean Fritz
    17. 17. 10. To share our expertise with others and develop self-confidence and self-esteem <ul><li>allows young writers to express their interests and expertise for both personal knowledge and expertise—Kletzien and Drehr (2004) </li></ul>
    18. 18. 9. To write for wider audiences with authentic purposes <ul><li>addresses issues of audience, purpose and form—Pike and Mumper (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>gives opportunity to write for many audiences and purposes </li></ul>
    19. 19. 8. To obtain a thorough understanding of a topic of study <ul><li>writers of non-fiction become teachers who help others learn what they know—interested and knowledgeable about one’s topic </li></ul>
    20. 20. 7. To enhance our vocabulary, visual literacy, and use of technology <ul><li>engages students in non-fiction writing so can read non-fiction text with deeper understanding—Calkins and Pessah (2003) </li></ul>
    21. 21. 6. To demonstrate our ability to write in different text forms <ul><li>acquire understanding of features, structures, point-of-view, and voice—Calkins and Pessah (2003) </li></ul>
    22. 22. 5. To take ownership for learning about our world and being able to share that knowledge with others <ul><li>gives opportunity to go beyond classroom walls and make a connection with global ideas from around the world </li></ul>
    23. 23. 4. To make use of powerful scaffolds to help create new and enjoyable patterns for our writing <ul><li>immerses us in reading the genre while learning to writing it </li></ul><ul><li>unique and interesting use of language </li></ul>
    24. 24. 3. To develop myriad strategies for building content and to find ways to organize and synthesize our learning <ul><li>writing non-fiction refines thinking skills and the organization of ideas and our understanding of the world — Laura Robb (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>improves communication and problem-solving skills in writing and eventually changes problem-solving strategies in all arenas of learning </li></ul>
    25. 25. 2. To continue to build our curiosity for our world by promoting a spirit of inquiry <ul><li>collecting data from numerous sources both primary and secondary </li></ul>
    26. 26. 1. To provide choice—especially for those of us who would prefer reading and writing nonfiction over reading and writing fiction
    27. 27. Stylistic Features of Good Non-Fiction Writing <ul><li>clear, cohesive organizational structure </li></ul><ul><li>style </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ability to creatively combine words, forms and content with creative vision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>emotional involvement </li></ul><ul><li>language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>balancing creative use of language with clear, precise language structures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>leads and conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>vocabulary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use of proper terms, but audience appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>tone </li></ul>
    28. 28. Resources <ul><li>Bamford, Rosemary and Janice Kristo, 1998. Making Facts Come Alive: Choosing Quality Nonfiction Literature K-8. Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc., Norwood, MA. </li></ul><ul><li>Daniels, Harvey, Steven Zemelman & Nancy Steineke, 2007. Content-Area Writing. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH. </li></ul><ul><li>Dorfman, Lynne and Rose Cappelli, 2008. Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Teaching Informational Writing Through Children’s Literature, K-8. Stenhouse Publishers, Portland, ME. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Part 3: Writing, Part of a Better Life
    30. 30. History to 21 st Century <ul><li>“ National Council of Education 1894 report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies, headed by Harvard President Charles Eliot, urged “That the admission of a student to college should be made to depend largely on his ability to write English…” </li></ul><ul><li>Holding On To Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones by Thomas Newkirk. P55. Heineman. 2009 </li></ul>
    31. 31. 21 st Century Demands <ul><li>“Visual, aural, and textual elements – in combination – are the norm… </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy requires fluency in each element.” </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube-”21 st Century Literacy” </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>“ Literacy implies the ability to speak and write as well as to read…” </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube-”21 st Century Literacy” </li></ul>21st Century Demands
    33. 33. <ul><li>“ NEA (National Endowment for the Arts published a study showing the decline in book reading but…the study also noted that there was a 30% increase in the number of people engaged in creative writing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Holding On To Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones by Thomas Newkirk. P55. Heineman. 2009 </li></ul>21st Century Demands
    34. 34. <ul><li>“Brandt has shown how societal shifts have increased the demand for writing.” </li></ul>21st Century Demands
    35. 35. <ul><li>News & Observer – July 27 th , 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>“ They’ll (students) need new and enhanced skills: analytical and critical thinking, science and math literacy, global and cultural awareness, excellent communication skills and foreign language proficiency.” by Susan Parry, Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development. </li></ul>21st Century Demands
    36. 36. Case Technologies to Enhance Literacy Learning: Charles K. Kinzer Teachers College, Columbia University Linda D. Labbo , University of Georgia Donald J. Leu , University of Connecticut William H. Teale , University of Illinois, Chicago This group is an example of how we need to change how we teach our pre-service teachers. See PDF