6 Traits of Writing
Grow student writers using the 6-Traits model
Best-practice strategies for teaching K-12 writing
Smekens Education specializes in providing 6-Traits lesson ideas for teachers in grades K-12. Our Idea Library is full of strategies for introducing the 6 traits and then teaching the traits all year long.
Learn more about how to implement the 6 Traits of Writing with our library of free videos featuring Kristina Smekens. Always practical and engaging, Kristina's videos are short and to the point.
Receive the best 6-Traits training online, on-site, or at a Smekens event. The literacy consultants at Smekens Education are experts at helping teachers to implement the 6-Traits framework within today's standards.
Learn to use 6-Traits writing rubrics to assess student writing and keep daily instruction tied to the standards. Then tap into our customizable 6-Traits rubric calculater to provide targeted student feedback.
Find the best books and resources for launching and implementing the 6 Traits. Whether you're looking for professional books or mentor texts, you're sure to love our thorough list of recommended resources.
Research conducted by REL Northwest and others confirms that implementation of the 6-Traits model results in improved writing performance by students. We've compiled the reasearch—see for yourself.
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What are the 6 Traits? And where did they come from?
Trait of Ideas
Elaborate effectively on a single topic to convey a clear message.
Trait of Organization
Reveal ideas within a logical order, including a beginning, middle, and end.
Trait of Voice
Increase reader engagement with intentional writer feeling, attitude, and emotion.
Trait of Word Choice
Use the right word in the right place to convey just the right meaning.
Trait of Sentence Fluency
Improve the readability of a piece with complete thoughts and sentence variety.
Trait of Conventions
Make writing more correct by following rules of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar.
The 6 Traits of Writing are rooted in more than 20 years of research which shows that all "good" writing has six key ingredients—ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. These key components make up the 6-Traits writing model, which is simply a framework for teaching and assessing all types of writing at every stage of writing development.
Are the Traits of Writing part of a “program"?
The traits of writing are nothing more than six words. These six terms provide a common language between teachers and students and guide the instruction and assessment of writing. While there are many valuable tools available to support the traits model, this is not a “canned” program and does not require the purchase of additional resources.
Do the traits align with the standards?
The College & Career-Ready Standards have the traits embedded within them. Regardless of the textbook or curriculum used, the traits of writing are inherently present. Teaching writing with the 6 Traits as a framework does not mean abandoning the things that are already working in the classroom.
What makes the Smekens approach to the 6 Traits unique?
Teachers who participate in Smekens Education's 6-Traits training receive the tools and motivation they need to begin implementing the traits in their own classrooms right away. Whether from a seminar, online course, or on-demand video subscription, educators soon realize that Smekens trainings are focused on strategies, not theory. Yes, the strategies are rooted in theory, but Smekens seeks to equip teachers with practical, classroom-tested ideas for teaching and assessing the traits at any grade level.