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Write Traits An Introduction to the Six Traits of Writing Part One


Six Traits of Writing Part One ... the logical and sometimes intriguing pattern of the ideas within a piece of writing. Teach organization by: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Write Traits An Introduction to the Six Traits of Writing Part One

Write TraitsAn Introduction to the Six Traits
of Writing Part One
  • I always did well on essay tests. Just put
    everything you know on there, maybe youll hit
    it. And then you get the paper back from the
    teacher and shes written just one word across
    the top of the page, vague. I thought vague
    was kind of vague. Id write underneath it
    unclear, and send it back. Shed return it to
    me, ambiguous. Id send it back to her,
    cloudy. Were still corresponding to this day
    hazy muddy Jerry Seinfeld
    (SeinLanguageBantam Books 1993)

Seinfelds teacher was surely the exception, not
the rule. Studies show that most teachers
spend a superhuman number of hours writing
very specific comments on papers, but it would
help to have a common vocabulary that everyone is
familiar with.
The Six-Trait Model for Writing Instruction and
Assessment has an easy-to-understand, practical
vocabulary that can be adapted to fit
Kindergarten through 12th grade and a variety of
modes/genres of writing.

An Overview of the Six Traits
  • The Six Traits are basically a summary of what
    teachers value in writing
  • What makes writing work?
  • Ideas
  • Organization
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions

IdeasIdeas are the heart of the message, the
content of the piece, the main theme, together
with the details that enrich and develop that
  • Teach ideas by
  • Demystifying the process by writing alongside the
    students Model, model, model!
  • Reading aloud from books with good detail or
    strong imagery
  • Showing students how to eliminate filler
  • Helping students create questions to expand and
    clarify an idea

  • Organization is the internal structure, the
    thread of central meaning, the logical and
    sometimes intriguing pattern of the ideas within
    a piece of writing.
  • Teach organization by
  • Working on strong leads
  • Brainstorming transition words
  • Practicing the art of sequencing effectively
  • Matching organizational patterns with sample text
  • Working on strong conclusions
  • Model your own thinking as you organize thoughts
    for a paper

Voice- Voice is the heart and soul, the magic,
the wit, along with the feeling and conviction of
the individual writer coming out through the
  • Teach voice by
  • Reading aloud from voice-filled text
  • Researching a topic prior to writing knowledge
    creates a confident voice
  • Choosing topics about which the writer feels
  • Identifying key questions that help bring topics
    to life
  • Model

Samantha Abeels second grade voice (A show and
tell memory from My Thirteenth Winter)
  • I lift the paper grocery bag from the place
    where I am sitting and I move to the table in
    front of the class. I set the bag down and
    unroll the folded top. I look down, reach into
    the bag, and then pull my hands out quickly,
    saying, Be nice and behave. Everyone in the
    class begins to lean in closer, curiosity
    spreading, all of them wondering what I have in
    my paper sack.
  • I place my hands back in the bag and after a
    little struggle, I pretend to lift something
    fairly heavy up and out of the sack. This, I
    say to the class, is my invisible pet dragon.
    A heavy silence falls upon my classmates, along
    with a few confused looks. If you are all
    really good, I continue, I will let him go so
    you can watch him fly around the room. More
    silence and wide, wide eyes.

Word Choice Word choice is the use of rich,
colorful, precise language that moves and
enlightens the reader.
  • Teach word choice by
  • Working with words within the context of meaning
  • Encouraging precise language
  • Sharpening writing with active verbs, precise
    nouns, and accurate modifiers
  • Reading aloud to students so they can appreciate
    the language.
  • Model

(No Transcript)
Sentence Fluency Sentence fluency is the rhythm
and flow of the language, the sound of word
patterns, the way in which the writing plays to
the ear not just to the eye.
  • Teach Sentence Fluency by
  • Reading aloud pieces of literature that play to
    the ear
  • Having students block their sentences to check
    for variety in length.
  • Encouraging variety in beginnings and lengths of
  • Pairing short, choppy sentences with longer
  • Showing models that do not always follow the
    subject, verb pattern
  • Model

  • Edit out loud. Listen to the music of the draft
    and tune it so that each paragraph, each line,
    each word, each space between words creates a
    beat and melody that supports and advances the
    meaning of the draft.
  • -Donald Murray

Conventions Conventions are like the mechanical
correctness of the piece spelling,
paragraphing, grammar and usage, punctuation, and
use of capitals.
  • Teach conventions by
  • Teaching copy editors symbols and showing
    students how to use them
  • Keeping writing tools, such as a good dictionary,
    grammar handbook, and thesaurus, accessible in
    the classroom
  • Reading backwards for spelling errors
  • Providing numerous opportunities for students
    to practice editing
  • Model Show students how you edit your own

Dear John,
  • I want a man who knows what love is all about.
    You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who
    are not like you admit to being useless and
  • You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for
    you. I have no feelings whatsoever when were
    apart. I can be happy forever.
  • Will you let me be yours?
  • Gloria

Dear John,
  • I want a man who knows what love is. All about
    you are generous, kind, thoughtful people who are
    not like you. Admit to being useless and
    inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I
    yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever.
    When were apart, I can be happy forever.
  • Will you let me be?
  • Yours,
  • Gloria

Part Two- The Write Traits Notebook
  • Overview
  • Components
  • Write Traits as a teaching tool
  • From a presentation developed by Karen Bauer,
    High School Literacy Mentor (NB School District

Structure of the Write Traits Notebook Advanced
  • The Notebook looks at writing over four genres
  • Personal/narrative
  • Persuasive
  • Informational/expository
  • Business/professional

  • Using the Write Traits Rubrics
  • -Suggested scores are given for each practice
  • -It is more important that students can
    distinguish between a strong paper and one in
    progress than it is to agree on a specific score.
  • -Understanding and using the rubrics will allow
    students to assess all writing, including their

Components in Write Traits Advanced
  • Teacher pages- blue pages that take the teacher
    step-by-step through each part of the program.
  • Student pages- grey pages that take the students
    through 24 practice lessons (four per trait) and
    24 sample papers (four papers per trait)
  • Fold-out posters- one for each genre showing how
    the traits support each genre
  • Overhead transparencies- for whole-class scoring
    or discussion
  • Blackline Masters- for making hard copies on
    which students can write

Teaching the Traits Units
  • Six units, one per trait
  • Each unit contains an overview, four lessons to
    build strength in the focus trait, and a unit
  • Each lesson focuses on one of the four specific
  • Sample papers are in pairs, showing successful
    and less successful applications of the trait in
    two of the four genres
  • A rubric is provided for assessing each trait on
    both a 6 and 5 point scale the six point within
    the lessons and the 5 point in the appendix

Trait Connecting a to Classroom Practice
  • Examine one section of the Write Traits Notebook
    Advanced Level-- Organization
  • Lessons to teach organization
  • Sample Papers-- Oh, Baby- What a Night A
    Trip to Remember

Trait Connecting a to Classroom Practice- Jigsaw
  • Examine one section of the Write Traits Notebook
    Advanced Level.
  • What are aspects you would use in your classroom?
  • How might you link the trait to favorite lessons
    in your repertoire?
  • Share your trait with the group.

Teachers using the traits often use one, all
or any combination of the following steps
  • 1. Introduce a trait through interesting
  • 2. Do hands-on activities to help students
    understand what it is and how to improve it in
    their own writing.
  • 3. Guide them through the analysis of anonymous
    sample papers.
  • 4. Follow with a writing assignment that targets
    that trait.
  • 5. Use the 6-trait rubric to provide useful
  • 6. Guide students through revising their
    papers based on that feedback.
  • 7. Use a pre-identified rubric to assign a grade
    to the paper.

  • Questions
  • Comments
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