Introduce the 6 Traits

Introduce the 6 Traits

If you spend some time in the early weeks of school describing what “good” writing includes, then you can curb the number of times you hear Is this good? Am I done? Is this what you want?? from your students. GOOD WRITING INGREDIENTS The six researched...
Use Mentor Texts to Kick Off a New Unit

Use Mentor Texts to Kick Off a New Unit

When Kristina Smekens shares these ideas with teachers, the common question is How do I know what book to read? So here’s a list of her favorite mentor texts aligned with the appropriate genres (e.g., expository, letter writing, narrative, persuasive/opinion,...
Dissect Picture Books for Trait-Based Lessons

Dissect Picture Books for Trait-Based Lessons

Picture books make great mentor texts to teach the 6 Traits of Writing! And while there are so many great picture books out there, when do you have time to look through all of them to pick out a passage for your next mini-lesson? That’s what prompted the Trait...
Reveal Good Writing Before Students Write

Reveal Good Writing Before Students Write

No matter what grade-level you teach, no matter what the subject matter is, no matter what genre you are teaching–you want to show students an example of a “good one” before they write. Besides just modeling a teacher example, reveal an actual...