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An Introduction to the Six Traits of Writing


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Recognize the Traits in Student Writing

Identify the traits with mentor text

Launching the Writer's Workshop

Find anchor papers tied to the lessons within Launching the Writer’s Workshop books.

Check out this list of websites that offer free student writing samples.

Trait Trackers include a list of trait-based writing skills that could be taught using popular picture books.

Acknowledge the traits with the writing standards & process

Introduce the Trait Language to Students

Establish consistent visual icons

Black and white mini-posters

BW with color mini-posters

Monochromatic mini-posters

Optional Sentence Fluency Smartphone

Utilize song lyrics and/or mentor text

Consider reading picture books to introduce each trait.

Create a trait-based physical environment

Teach Trait-Based Mini-Lessons

Trait of Ideas: List details with the ABC Chart

PDF Word  | 18×24 poster | Google Slide | Google Jamboard | JPEG (for Smartboard & Promethean)

Trait of Organization: Create a grocery-list pre-write

First list the details, then organize them.

Trait of Voice: Show feelings, don’t tell them

Teach students to show feelings in their writing.

Trait of Word Choice: Use precise shades of words

Challenge students to write precise synonyms.

Trait of Sentence Fluency: Test for Slinky Sentences

Have students assess if they have adequate sentence-length variety.

Trait of Conventions: Hear punctuation marks

Teach more than the rules behind punctuation marks.