Evidence-based practices for teaching writing

Amy Gillespie and Steve Graham reveal the techniques that have been proven to work when teaching children and young people to write

WRITING IS A MULTIFACETED TASK THAT involves the use and co-ordination of many cognitive processes. Due to its complexities, many pupils find writing challenging and many teachers struggle to find methods to effectively teach the skill.

What we know
Evidence-based practices for teaching writing include:
● Teaching strategies for planning, revising, and editing
● Having pupils write summaries of texts
● Permitting pupils to write collaboratively with peers
● Setting goals for pupil writing
● Allowing pupils to use a word processor
● Teaching sentence combining skills
● Using the process writing approach
● Having pupils participate in inquiry activities for writing
● Involving pupils in prewriting activities
● Providing models of good writing
Teachers should supplement their current writing practices and curricula with a combination of evidence-based practices that best meets the needs of their pupils.

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Published

February 2011