Question: What is one method for teachers to teach writing?
Quote: “It is easy to assign but difficult to teach writing.” P, 32,
Answer: The authors suggest units in which students read a particular genre and, as a result, learn to write in the genre.
Quote: “The unit of study offers students many benefits, but mainly it helps them begin to establish a ‘habit of mind’ about writing…. In effect, students learn a systematic way to help themselves learn more about writing. This format is true to the work of professional writers. Countless authors have written books about the craft of writing, describing their own routines and habits…. Across these examples is a unifying pattern of reading widely and often as a way to inspire their own writing and as a means for studying how others write.
“The unit of study offers students an authentic and predictable structure, one that closely approximates what writers do beyond the school walls. At the end of a unit, students are able to speak specifically about writing techniques as well as analyze their work with direction and focus, experiences they can draw upon repeatedly as they develop as writers. This way of studying writing helps teach writers and provides them with an intentional way to continue teaching themselves after the unit is over.” P. 35.
Comment: This approach to teaching writing is, in effect, a method for reading as a way of learning to write. Reading in the genre become a way of learning to write in the genre. Authors often talk about reading as a writer. I think it’s an interesting idea. RayS.
Title: “Teaching Writers Through a Unit of Study Approach.” DN Morgan, B Clark, J Paris, and C Kozel. Voices from the Middle (March 2012), 32-36.