Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why Write?

I use that question as the tag line to this blog.  It is a question that I often ask teachers when working with them.  While I love writing and know that there is incredible power in a series of well-written words, so often in school we ask students to write without any purpose.  And then we wonder why they don't love to write.

One of my biggest pet peeves is writing for punishment.  You know - writing that "I will not (insert transgression here)" 100 times.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, will kill the desire to write more than this.

On the opposite end - one of my favorite things to do with students (other than keeping writer's notebooks) is to develop RAFTS, particularly for writing in the content areas.  For those unfamiliar with the format, students are given a particular role, are asked to write for a specific audience using a certain format for writing on a given topic.  In my social studies class, it allowed students to explore various perspectives and showcase their understanding of the content.

So - I was intrigued by this recent post from Educational Origami which merges Bloom's Revised Taxonomy with an adaptation of Daggett's Application Model.  And I started to think about writing assignments that we give our students.  And ones that are used in reading series and on state assessments.  And I started to think about how writing instruction might be different and more relevant if we used this activity map to plan out and scaffold our instruction to lead students towards truly authentic writing.

Would this help answer the question?

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