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How do the 6 Traits fit within state writing rubrics?

The power of the Six-Traits writing framework is its universal application to all grade levels, writing genres, and writing assessments.

Although ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions are the essential traits that are embedded in all state and national testing rubrics, they are not necessarily labeled by those names.

Dissecting the Rubrics

In order to see the traits within a rubric, you have to study the criteria and ask, “What trait does this skill impact?”

For example, in the rubrics below, the criteria has been color-coded to identify which writing expectations fall under which of the six traits. Notice the heavy emphasis on the trait of ideas (blue) and organization (green). These two colors bleed all over every rubric because as “trump” traits they make the biggest impact on the overall writing.

Seeing each trait highlighted within the assessment rubrics can help prioritize which skills to target within your yearlong writing instruction. In the end, if we build strong writers who can excel within the parameters of the Six Traits, they will also excel on standardized writing assessments.
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