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English Language Arts The 6+1 Trait Writing Model.

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Presentation on theme: "English Language Arts The 6+1 Trait Writing Model."— Presentation transcript:

1 English Language Arts The 6+1 Trait Writing Model

2 The 6+1 Trait Writing Model  Ideas  Organization  Voice  Word Choice  Sentence Fluency  Conventions  Presentation from 6+1 Traits of Writing by Ruth Culham

3 Trait #1: Ideas  Simply stated, ideas make up the content of the writing piece.  Strong ideas = Clear overall message/content  Students struggle with ideas because writing is complex, they think faster than they can write, and they often don’t write for themselves.

4 Trait #1: Ideas As teachers, we must help our students…  Select an idea (the topic)  Narrow the idea (focus)  Elaborate on the idea (development)  Discover the best information to convey the main idea (details)

5 Trait #1: Ideas Some ways to teach the Ideas trait:  Free writing  Flashbacks  Favorite places  “Picture This”  “String Along”

6 Trait #2: Organization  Organization is the internal structure of the piece, the thread of central meaning, the pattern of logic.  Students struggle with organization because rigid organization is often overvalued, organization is a difficult thing to achieve, and there is no single program to solve all of our organizational woes.

7 Trait #2: Organization As teachers, we must help our students with…  Writing an introduction—a lead that hooks the reader.  Developing the middle of the paper—a core that is logically organized and contains clearly linked details.  Writing the conclusion—an ending that leaves the reader satisfied.

8 Trait #2 Organization Some ways to teach the Organization trait:  Share examples from literature  Teach organizational options:  Organize by space  Organize by time  Organize by content  Organize by perspective

9 Trait #3: Voice  Voice is the writer’s music coming out through words, the sense that a real person is speaking to you and cares about the message.  Students struggle with voice because it’s not as concrete as other traits, because there is a perception that “boring” is good, because it’s a bit too personal, and because many teachers still say that some forms of writing don’t require voice.

10 Trait #3: Voice As teachers, we must remember that voice emerges when the writer…  Speaks directly to the reader on an emotional level.  Experiments with style to match the purpose and audience.  Takes risks by revealing the person behind the words.

11 Trait #3: Voice Some ways to teach the Voice trait:  Share different artists’ recordings of the same song  Illustrate the voice trait  Compare and contrast (same story, different authors)  New Voices, New Choices (5 letters)

12 Trait #4: Word Choice  Word choice isn’t just about the use—or misuse—of words. It is about the use of rich, colorful, precise language that both communicates and inspires the reader.  Students struggle with word choice because too often, language is used to exclude, vocabulary is often taught in isolation, and students tend to get “word drunk.”

13 Trait #4: Word Choice As teachers, we must teach our students how to use…  Striking language: Sharpen students descriptive powers  Exact language: Using lively verbs, precise nouns, and accurate modifiers  Natural language: Making it sound authentic  Beautiful language: Choosing colorful words and phrases

14 Trait #4: Word Choice Some ways to teach the Choice trait:  Painting a picture with words  Top Ten List of words  Finding key words and phrases in captivating texts

15 Trait # 5: Sentence Fluency  Strong sentence fluency is marked by logic, creative phrasing, parallel construction, alliteration, and word order that makes reading feel natural.  Students struggle with sentence fluency because of the overemphasis on correctness, because writing classrooms are too quiet, and because writing good sentences is harder than it looks.

16 Trait #5: Sentence Fluency As teachers, we must help our students with...  Establishing flow, rhythm, and cadence.  Varying sentence length and structure.  Constructing sentences that enhance meaning.

17 Trait #5: Sentence Fluency Some ways to teach the Sentence Fluency trait:  Reading aloud to yourself  Sentence stretching  End with a noun  “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”  Picture your sentence  “This sentence is short.”

18 Trait #6: Conventions  Conventions guide the reader through the text, making ideas readable and understandable.  Conventions = spelling, punctuation, grammar, capitalization, paragraphing, etc.  Students struggle with conventions because they don’t see the power of good writing mechanics, and because they aren’t encouraged to take enough risks with their writing.

19 Trait #6: Conventions As teachers we should…  Be sure students understand that editing and revising are different.  Expect correctness, but only according to appropriate developmental level and age.  Value experimentation right along with correctness. It’s a balancing act.  Be patient. Learning to use conventions well takes time.

20 Trait #6: Conventions Some ways to teach the Conventions trait:  Take it out  Error Hunt  Conventions Experts  Reading Backwards  Practice Makes Perfect

21 Presentation (+1)  How the writing looks to the reader.  Writing should have a finished look that shows care.

22 Presentation (+1) As teachers, we need to encourage the following in our students’ writing:  Uniform spacing  Legible handwriting; appropriate use of fonts and sizes  Appealing use of white space


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