Connect Modes of Writing to Author’s Purpose

When teachers make explicit connections between reading and writing, students grow in both areas. This approach to curriculum planning blends the lines of literacy. This is more effective than treating the reader’s and writer’s workshops as separate entities.

At the beginning of each school year, introduce students to the three most common reasons to write–to persuade (P), to inform (I), and to entertain (E). Make the connection that in writer’s workshop, the students are now the authors, writing for the same three purposes within different units–persuasive, informative, and narrative. (NOTE: Some teachers use the noun form of the modes–persuasion, expository, narrative).

Within this introductory lesson, reveal the differences among the three modes with three texts on the same topic (e.g., turtles). Students better grasp the subtle differences among them when they see the same topic presented in different ways.

P–Save the sea turtle brochure or letter to the editor
I–Nonfiction book about the sea turtle
E–Ninja Turtles comic book

During this first mini-lesson, reveal a foldable. This can be used to document the different characteristics, ingredients, facets, etc. of each writing mode all year long.

P.E.N. Foldable for Persuasive, Expository, and Narrative WritingMaintain a P.E.N. foldable that reveals the writing purposes–to persuade/argue, to explain/inform, to narrate a story/share experiences.

P.I.E. Foldable for Author's Purposes To Persuade, To Inform, To EntertainMaintain a P.I.E. foldable that reveals the writing purposes–to persuade/argue, to inform/explain, to entertain/share experiences.

Although older students take notes on individual foldables, these are inappropriate for young writers. Consequently, primary teachers might do one of these larger options:

The impact of targeting reciprocal reading and writing skills is that it allows teachers to deepen student understanding and save instructional time.

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