Writing

Helping Kids Envision Their Audience

Posted on May 16, 2008
Helping Kids Envision Their Audience

Helping Kids Envision Their Audience

Posted on May 16, 2008

Helping Kids Envision Their Audience

Students preparing for the writing prompt on any standardized test need to know that they are writing to humans -- not machines. Explain to students that the scorer reads hundreds of prompt writings from other kids all over the state -- and then she comes to theirs. Encourage them to be unique, be different. Whether it's part of the state rubric or not, because a real person reads the test, a "sense of audience" is an important element in every response. Students need to believe they are writing to someone to accomplish this.

To help your writers envision this real live audience for their writing, consider having students draw portraits of the Test LadyTM on 11x17 paper. Hang them in the room as a constant reminder that a human being is on the other end of what they will write for the state writing prompt.

If you didn't want to take time in class to draw portraits of the Test Lady, consider asking the art teacher to do a portrait-drawing unit, or have students submit images from the Internet. The two examples here were downloaded from the Internet by John Stoffel and Jan Ballard and their third graders at Lincoln Elementary (Huntington, IN). Thanks for the great ideas, guys!