Sunday, January 4, 2009

Help Students Organize Their Writing. Revisit 'Think Literacy'.

If you need a quick idea to help students with their writing, revisit the Think Literacy writing strategies. Think Literacy offers templates for writing a procedure, writing an information report, writing a business report, and writing an explanation. Subject specific writing templates can be found in the Subject-Specific Think Literacy documents or you can link to the documents from the Ministry of Education Website.

As we approach the end of first semester, students are working on their culminating activities and, while most students will benefit from using a template to organize their ideas, some students need to use templates to guide their thinking and planning. After all, writing is thinking through the end of a pen and very few adults can settle into writing without some planning or ‘front end thinking’. It is important to recognize that when providing students with templates for writing you are offering a transferrable strategy to help students organize thoughts and create patterns in their thinking. Organized thought leads to organized writing.

Did You Know?

  • Most universities and colleges have websites, handbooks and services dedicated to helping students plan and organize their writing. See examples for the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College.

  • All subjects (Ontario Curriculum) have a statement in the Communication area of the Achievement Chart that refers to the expression and organization of ideas.

  • One of the three writing expectations assessed on the OSSLT is ‘organizing information and ideas in a coherent manner’.

  • To improve student writing, EQAO recommends helping students organize their writing around well-developed and well-supported, clear and specific ideas.

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