Approaches to Writing

Traditional

Process

  • Teacher assigns topic
  • Child chooses topic
  • Brainstorming: a whole class activity: vocabulary, plots, possible characters
  • Child chooses a prewriting activity if s/he feels the need: Web, research, draw, interview. Can occur in pairs/small groups/ independently
  • Child writes
  • Child begins first draft
  • Teacher may assist with spelling, grammar, punctuation
  • Teacher circulates, conferences and discusses the work in progress.
  • Teacher conducts whole class mini-lessons on writing techniques and small group mini-lessons on skills for which the writer shows a readiness
  • Teacher responds to the final product when the child hands the essay in to teacher
  • Teacher corrects the errors and comments on the essay
  • Child learns to read his/her own work i.e. identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Revision takes place after the child has experienced feedback: partners/ small group/teacher. Child redrafts the piece armed with suggestions from the conference
  • Child edits and proofreads the piece for errors
  • Child rewrites the essay into the essay copy following the teacherís corrections
  • Best pieces may be read aloud
  • Child produces a polished copy: typed or handwritten. It may be illustrated and bound
  • Child shares writing by reading aloud or displaying the piece
  • Writing takes place once a week
  • Writing occurs daily at same time
  • Emphasis on the product
  • Emphasis on the process and the product
  • Oral language activity at the beginning of the session
  • Oral language activity at each step of the process
  • Skills taught in isolation in linear fashion and practised through worksheets and textbook exercises
  • Skills taught as child demonstrates a readiness for the skill and taught in the context of the writing
  • Teacher evaluates the work
  • Child learns: to evaluate his/her own work; to develop the craft of writing over time
  • Children learn how to become active listeners, thoughtful responders
  • Self esteem and confidence grow as child experiences autonomy, success and responsibility