Teaching Feature Writing


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Create a List

When discussing writing purposes, teachers and students can generate a list of potential audiences for a given writing assignment. Students then can choose the audience that best fits their writing topic.

Feature article: structure

Exemplary texts can illustrate a number of features, including text structure; use of graphs, charts, and pictures; effective word choice; and varied sentence structure. Students also must learn to use techniques that are specific to a purpose of writing. When developing a persuasive essay, for example, students can use the TREE Topic sentence, Reasons—three or more, Ending, Examine technique, whereby they make a plan for their paper that includes what they believe, reasons to support their beliefs, examples for each reason, and an ending.

When basic writing skills become relatively effortless for students, they can focus less on these basic writing skills and more on developing and communicating their ideas.


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However, younger writers must typically devote considerable attention to acquiring and polishing these skills before they become proficient. Spelling skills can affect the words students choose because they may be less likely to use words they cannot spell. Students also need to be able to generate strong, interesting sentences that vary in length and complexity in order to convey their intended meaning and engage readers.


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When a student's writing contains spelling mistakes and poor handwriting, it can be difficult for the reader to understand what the student is trying to convey. Word processing programs can make many aspects of the writing process easier for students, including assisting students with spelling and handwriting difficulties to write more fluently. Early writing instruction should begin with demonstrations of how to hold a pencil comfortably between the thumb and forefinger, resting on the middle finger.

Teachers also should show young writers the most efficient and legible ways to form each letter, regardless of whether print or cursive script is used. Because handwriting is a motor skill, it works best to practice in multiple short sessions. Students also should apply their handwriting skills in sentences and in authentic writing activities.

A relatively small number of words account for 80 percent of the words elementary- grade students use in their writing. Teachers should help students learn to spell words they commonly use. Although many elementary schools have an explicit spelling curriculum, teachers should connect spelling instruction with writing as much as possible.

Students should be encouraged to learn words they frequently misspell, as well as words they wish to include in their writing.

Strategies you can use as you begin to teach students writing in your discipline.

Teachers also should help students acquire the skills they need to generate and check plausible spellings for words. Students should learn to write strong sentences that convey their intended meaning and engage readers. Teachers should focus sentence-level instruction on sentence construction, encouraging students to consider the meaning and syntax of the sentences they develop. Teachers also should explicitly demonstrate how sentence construction and sentence mechanics, such as punctuation and capitalization, interact to form strong sentences.

Students also need instruction on how to use a variety of sentence structures in their writing. Students should be introduced to typing in 1st grade. By 2nd grade, students should begin regular typing practice.

What is the value of students learning to write in your discipline?

By the end of 2nd or 3rd grade, students should be able to type as fast as they can write by hand. Instruction in typing should be accompanied by instruction in how to use a word processor. Students need both the skill and the will to develop as writers. In a supportive writing environment, teachers participate as writers, not simply instructors, to demonstrate the importance of writing. By taking part in writing lessons and activities, teachers convey the message that writing is important, valued, and rewarding. Teachers should model how the ability to write affects their daily lives, demonstrate the importance of writing to communicate, model the perseverance required to create a good piece of writing, and express the satisfaction that can come from creating a meaningful text.

For example, a teacher could draft a letter or an email to a friend in front of students, thinking out loud to make the invisible act of composing — which occurs internally for experienced writers — more visible to students. Teachers should provide opportunities for student choice in writing assignments — for example, choice in selecting writing topics or the freedom to modify a teacher-selected prompt.

One way to foster choice is for students to keep a notebook in which they record topics for writing. Teachers also need to provide instruction and opportunities for students to practice writing to prompts. Teachers can encourage students to collaborate throughout the writing process by brainstorming ideas about a topic, responding to drafts in a writing group, or helping peers edit or revise their work.

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Collaboration also can take the form of collaborative writing, whereby students jointly develop a single text. Students need to know whether their writing is accurately and appropriately conveying its message. One way students can determine this is by sharing their writing and responding to written and verbal feedback from the teacher and their peers. Although teachers should provide feedback to students through teacher-student conferences and rubrics, peers also should be encouraged to participate in the feedback process. Students also need to be taught strategies and appropriate language for written feedback.

We will incorporate more writing into our classrooms by have students write about composers, artists, atheletes, and summaries of books read. Some very useful strategies for young learner. That said, the article continually expands further with some excellent choices: peer writing, constructive sentence writing. There is a stress on time development daily and over time to develop writing confidence and excellence.

I love it! Excellent article. Thanks for the sharing, I also found a useful service for forms filling. It looked much better typed than hand-written. I used pdf.

I think that writing is the best tool for children to express every feeling and emotion. This way we are able to understand them and guide them towards more knowledge. Author Interviews Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews. Book Finder Create your own booklists from our library of 5, books! Themed Booklists Dozens of carefully selected booklists, for kids years old. This can be as simple as giving students a photograph and having them write a caption, or giving students a heading, and having them write a relevant paragraph!

This activity can be easily differentiated as well. Give your more advanced learners interesting diagrams or charts that they will have to interpret before writing. Start your struggling students with a photograph or title to write about. Cut out some school appropriate text features, place them in a writing center, and have students choose a text feature. Then, ask students to write a short paragraph or article that incorporates the text feature in a relevant way.


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Click here for more ideas on ways to use up old magazines and newspapers while teaching text features. Once students understand how text features can help make text easier to read and more meaningful, start asking students to add text features in their own nonfiction writing. Begin expecting students to add headings, images, captions, bold letters, and other text features any time they write.

Columns, comment and editorials also know as leaders are all types of opinion writing, which also differ from news reports and have more emphasis on the views of the writer. Often the writer is an expert on their subject, or has personal experience which gives them a unique perspective.

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Columns can be highly personal, or may be on a specific subject. Guardian G2. All features published by the Guardian. All opinion published by the Guardian. All columnists published by the Guardian. Read and analyse features from various newspapers, magazines and news websites. Ask students to identify which features they enjoy reading. Is this because of the subject matter or the style of the writing? Which writers do they particularly enjoy; what is special about their writing? Textual analysis to identify the linguistic features of the opening paragraphs of a selection of features.

What, if any, are the similarities? How do opening paragraphs of features compare to those of news stories on a similar subject? Look at the closing paragraphs of a variety of features; which are particularly successful or satisfying, and why?

Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing
Teaching Feature Writing Teaching Feature Writing

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