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No matter their year level, your students will need support as they transition from focusing on one technique at a time to using all of the Seven Steps in their writing.
It’s easy for students to revert to old habits when faced with writing a complete text. But with support, they can bring together everything that they’ve learnt from the Seven Steps.
Not trained in the Seven Steps?
Learn the secrets to transform student writing at Workshop One: Seven Steps to Transform Writing.
The Seven Steps are the building blocks to great writing. When you’ve taught and practised the Steps individually, your next goal is to show your students how to put it all together.
It’s important to chunk and scaffold this process of writing a complete text, just as we have done for the process of learning the Steps.
It’s like Roger Federer crafting the perfect tennis match. He has the individual skills mastered; the next step is to plan, strategise and use the right skills at the right time.
Writing collaboratively is a wonderful way to support students as they progress. It helps them to move from practising each Step to writing a full text in groups, and then (with time) to writing alone. The beauty of this approach is that students learn from each other and feel supported.
Here’s a summary of our simple three-step process to progress your students towards writing independently.
1. Brainstorm together
Ask students to form groups of five, and brainstorm in their groups to think of creative arguments and ideas for their narrative, persuasive or informative text.
2. Ask students to plan and write complete texts together
After planning the body paragraphs, introduction and conclusion as a group, the students then write one paragraph each.
The result is a complete text, which should flow well because the students have all been involved in the planning!
3. Move towards independence
Once students are confident writing in groups of five, gradually reduce the size of the groups to three, then two. By this stage, students will be familiar with writing different parts of a text and have seen their peers do the same. Next, they’ll be ready to write independently.
Teacher Hub Essentials members can watch the theory video on Putting It All Together for Persuasive Writing (6:26). This video demonstrates how to help students bring everything they have learned together in a complete text.
Need help with informative writing? Watch the video on Putting It All Together for Informative Writing (6:53).
Read how Shelley Sharpe, Year 5 teacher at Sunrise Christian School, guided her students through this writing process to produce an information report on the COVID-19 lockdown. Life In Lockdown: capturing students’ COVID experiences in informative writing
The Next Step
To learn how to take your students to the next level, and see firsthand how to move students from writing collaboratively to writing solo, book your spot at Workshop Two: Putting It All Together. Find out more >>
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