FAQ: How do the 6 Traits of Writing fit with the college and career-ready ELA standards?

ANSWER: The 6 Traits are simply six categories. The greatest advantages of teaching with the trait language is that it helps teachers:

  • To establish a common understanding of what is “good” writing.
  • To plan their writing instruction, prioritizing the most important skills first.
  • To offer precise feedback when assessing student writing.

The power in the writing traits is that they can organize dozens of writing skills into one of six categories. This helps streamline all facets of writing instruction and assessment.

However, the hard part is knowing which skills go with which traits. Here’s a resource that may help. Download a breakdown of the K-12 writing standards, sorted by the Six Traits of Writing. Within each page of the download, the skills (as noted in grade level standards) are listed that correspond with the particular writing trait, identified at the top of the page.

6 Traits of Writing in the Indiana Academic Standards6 Traits of Writing in the Common Core State Standards

For those of you working to weave the 6-Traits language into your writer’s workshops, this will give you a guide as to which trait to label each skill and where to fit the skill within your yearlong bulletin boards.

Article originally posted April 27, 2015.

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