The 6 Traits aren’t rocket science, and yet, when you first learn them it seems like there’s a lot to keep track of, doesn’t it? Students feel the same when the 6 traits are new to them, too.
Keeping a bulletin board or display of the traits up year-round provides a constant reminder for the classroom environment. But what about when students are working at home? Or when they’re peer conferencing in the hallway? They still need to be reminded of the traits and the basics required within each.
And for that reason, Kristina Smekens created a 6-traits bookmark for students to use as a cheat sheet. The size is just right for tucking into writer’s notebooks or school books. Smekens Education features one for K-2 and another one for upper grades. Both help students reflect on their writing by trait.
The primary bookmark asks Idea questions like Is my topic something I know a lot about? and Does my topic make sense? For the upper grades, the Idea questions include Is my topic narrow? and Did I use lots of details and descriptions?
Giving each student a bookmark may be one way you want to reinforce the 6 traits. You may prefer placing the bookmarks in a writing center where students can access them if needed, or you could have them available for peer conferencing to help students know how to question each other as writers.