Writing is a crucial skill we rely on daily. We write to communicate, entertain, inform, and persuade. Finding ways to include writing, revising, and sharing in and outside language arts classrooms can be challenging. The following resources support teachers who want to incorporate writing across disciplines and grade levels, and give them tools to create writing communities in their classrooms.
One of our newest resources Reading & Writing in the Disciplines shows multiple opportunities to engage students in middle and high school classrooms in writing across disciplines. In a 10th grade math class, students use writing to prove the Pythagorean theorem. Science students write a scientific report assessing hydraulic fracturing on New York City’s watershed. Watch students in a journalism class create seven-minute podcasts for This Reading Life, which is loosely modeled after the radio program This American Life. Students in a social studies class learn how to write about cause and effect and complicated issues in a unit on the Crimea conflict. Find the full list of purposeful writing activities here.
In Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop, session 5, “Teaching Writing as a Process,” learn why it is important to allow students to create their own writing topics. Also, watch as a kindergarten teacher models the use of an illustration as a writing prompt.
Inside Writing Communities: Grades 3-5, “Activities,” prompts you to examine your attitude towards writing, analyze lesson plan ideas, learn to generate writing ideas, and develop writing schedules that allow students to write about any topic. Session 7, “Learning to Revise,” provides tools on incorporating revision and shows why revision is fundamental to the writing process.
In workshop 1, “Creating a Community of Writers,” of Write in the Middle, learn how to turn your classroom into a safe place for students to share their writing. Watch teacher Jack Wilde explain how he uses read-alouds to encourage mutual support among students. In workshop 5, “Teaching Multigenre Writing,” 7th graders prepare a portfolio of multi-genre pieces based on personal experience.
Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers, workshop 6, “Providing Feedback on Student Writing,” shows teachers how to give feedback that helps students grow as writers. Create your own feedback form with the “Build a Rubric” interactive.
Habitable Planet, when used as a classroom resource, includes many topics that can inspire student writing. In unit 10, “Energy Challenges,” Professional Development Guide, essential questions, such as “What are the benefits and drawbacks of current energy sources?”, serve as great prompts for students to access prior knowledge and for you to assess what they have learned after the lesson.
More resources for teacher writing:
Teaching Math: Grades 3-5, session 2, “Communication” Students use writing to expand their understanding of mathematical concepts.
Social Studies in Action: A Methodology Workshop K-5, session 5, “Using Resources” Kindergarteners write advertisements after reading a book on making pasta.
“Literature” interactive What makes a good short story?
“Elements of a Story” interactive for elementary students