Writing is the subject taking a backseat to math and reading. It should be a major part of the curriculum since it is how students express themselves and demonstrate knowledge of the standards. Writing is the first subject to plan each year. This way it doesn’t get overtaken by the other subjects. Start each unit or writing lesson with writing and ELA standards, then pull in other content area standards.
Sample Long Range Writing Plans for the Year:
Weeks 1-3 – Poetry Writing Plans
Poetry gets creativity flowing without having to worry about all of the rules. Writers focus more on word choice and ideas in poetry. You can easily build in lessons on parts of speech, using a dictionary and thesaurus, and syllabication. Poetry is also a quick and easy way to get a bulletin board up for Back to School and Open House nights. Since poetry assignments (both reading and writing) are shorter, you can get grades quickly. And, to top it off, poetry is less intimidating to ESOL students and struggling readers and writers.
Want to learn more about teaching poetry? Check out these pages full of resources and FREEBIES for teaching poetry.
Using a poetry center throughout the school year is a great way to get writers to practice and master important reading skills. Since poetry is shorter, it is a great way to engage all readers. Here are some great articles with poetry FREEBIES you can add to your poetry center.
Weeks 4-8 – Personal Narrative Writing Plans
Writing personal narratives is an excellent way for your students to learn about you, and tell about themselves. Personal narratives are a great way to focus on specific events in life. You can use transformations to help start students learn how to write personal narratives. One of my favorite transformations is from When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. You can learn more about writing transformations in this article.
This is a great unit to start teaching kids how to conference with you and others about their writing. Below are links to two articles with FREE guides for writing conferences and sharing writing with a whole group. The last article will help you fix a few of the issues that begin to arise in this unit when their is more thinking and words involved. (Just click the link)
Want everything planned for you? Graphic organizers, lesson plans, grammar mini-lessons, wall displays, writing process posters, exemplars, and conferencing guides? Check out these units.
Weeks 9-15 – Fiction Narrative Writing Plans
Now that you have the ideas, word choice, and narrative organization down, it is time to combine these into a fiction narrative. This is always a fun unit to teach and the students really enjoy being creative.
Take time to develop characters with this Character Questionnaire.
Get students talking about their writing with the FREE Writing Conference Guides in this article.
If you need a unit for writing Fiction Narratives check out these units.
(Or Bundle and Save with these Creative Writing Bundles)
Weeks 16-20 – Informational Writing Plans
By now you have taught several science and social studies units. Create a list of these topics for students to research.
Weeks 21-25 – Persuasive Writing Plans
Persuasive writing combines all of the skills taught in previous units. It gives the students a chance to show their thoughts and feelings and support it with what they have learned.
Weeks 26-29 – Writing Drama Writing Plans
Too often dramas (plays) get overshadowed each year. The new Common Core standards stress an importance on understanding dramas. A great way to get students involved in writing dramas is to allow for performances. To help reach all students offer a variety of ways to perform: live, videotaped, or use apps for performances (Puppet Pals and Puppet Pals 2 are great apps for those students whose fear of public speaking keeps them from showing their best.)
Weeks 30-36 – Writer’s Workshop – Student Choice
Allow students to choose any of the writing genres taught this year and write what they want. By now your students know your writing routine so the class can handle everyone being on a different page. Plus most of the standardized testing is behind you!
The Importance of Journaling Throughout the Year:
Daily and weekly journal writing is a great way to get writers to practice writing skills without the fear of it having to be published.
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