Context of writing
A second grade boy wrote this story in a writing workshop where he was given free choice of topics. He is writing about a dog from a movie he has seen.
What is this child able to do as a writer?
- He has generated an idea to write about that he knows a lot about.
- He sticks to the topic.
- He uses conventions such as capital letters and ending punctuation for all sentences.
- He experiments with interesting words (‘defeats’).
What does this child need to learn next?
This child has a lot to say about this topic, but he is writing it in a list form without a variety of sentence beginnings. He could benefit from several mini-lessons to make his writing more interesting. (The teacher should choose one of these strategies per writing piece to let the students try so that they are not confused and overwhelmed)
- Teaching students how to use sentence combining to create one long, descriptive sentence from two shorter ones.
- Teaching students to replace names with pronouns instead of using the same name repetitively throughout the story.
- Teaching students to choose one or more sentences and focus on telling more about that sentence to expand stories. In this case, he might choose the sentence “Ballt have powers” and give examples of when he uses his powers.
- Teaching students to narrow their focus by choosing just one favorite sentence from a story and making that a first sentence in a new story. This writer may choose ‘Ballt dafeet evil’ and write a different story about just that sentence.