May 8, 2013

6+1 Traits of Writing and a Foundation Lesson to Get You Started

Hi all~ I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.  Today's focus is on writing and  I can't possibly link up about writing without talking about 6+1 Traits of Writing.  

If you haven't read the book, you truly should.  I love the framework it gives my students and me to use in writing. A great resource to use with it is  I posted recently about a variation of a lesson that I found there.  Great RESOURCE!

I always spend a week or two working on the framework, training so to speak, before I dive into any of my project based units at the beginning of the year.  I want them to have a firm foundation of my expectations and my procedures before we get started.  6+1 Traits of Writing gives us a common language to use during writing conferences and mini-lessons to make communication easier for us.  

During the time we spend "building our foundation," I always do one big whole group lesson where I briefly introduce all the traits listed in the book.  The students create anchor charts in their notebooks as we go, so that they will be able to refer to it throughout the year.  I use this PowerPoint to guide them as they build their anchor charts.  (Help yourself if you are interested but please leave a comment to let me know you grabbed it and if you like it, I would love for you to link up to follow.)  

The PowerPoint includes brief assignment slides to go with each trait so that the students have a chance to personalize each trait on their chart to help them remember it.  
This PowerPoint, by no means teaches each trait.  This just gives us a common language to use throughout the year as we conference and discuss writing as a class and work on each trait more thoroughly.  

The students and I also refer to the chart when they are at the writing station.  I will often tell them that they may write any thing they would like, but they must make a note at the top about which trait they worked on and how they improved their writing using that trait.  It really becomes a way of life for us in my classroom. :)

Thanks for stopping by.  Don't forget to click over to Ideas By Jivey to see other fabulous ideas to use in your WRITING WORKSHOP! :)


  1. I just got this book and haven't read it yet. I've heard good things about it though, now I am inspired to read through it this summer! :) 31 more days left for me!
    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. Thanks so much for linking up! I feel like I have so many books and resources, I don't ever get to use them all, but I'm pretty sure I have this on my shelf. LOL!!
    ideas by jivey

  3. I love that you let your kiddos write about anything as long as they can prove they've worked on a trait. Do you do anything to make sure they all practice all of the traits, or can they chose to work on Brainstorming for several days on different topics?

  4. What a great idea to have the students make their own copy of their anchor charts in their books! I am constantly helping students find old anchor charts to use as a resource. I just haven't found a good way to store them. I am definitely going to do this next year. Thanks for sharing.

    Foreman Teaches

  5. That is fantastic that you have the students identify which trait they were working on - what a great way to get them to really think about their writing. I like giving students copies of checklists and rubrics to keep in their writing binder to refer to whenever they are writing too. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  6. Thanks so much for this. It is very helpful.

  7. I love the 6 + 1 traits of writing. Last year, I went to a workshop Ruth Culham. She was great! Thanks for the post!

    Rosie's Rambles

  8. Thanks Brandee for the great post. Common language is so important to create within your class. I love the idea of going through some of that common language at the beginning of the year. Your powerpoint is great-so easy to follow and gives me a much better idea of 6 Traits! Thanks for sharing!

    Learning to the Core

  9. 6 Traits is a wonderful vocabulary for writing. I like how you spend time at the beginning of the year reviewing this language and your expectations. Time well spent, I'm sure!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  10. I would like to incorporate the writing traits. I went to a training on it once. I even made a board from Ladybug Teacher's files for VOICES to display how different topics fall into the traits. I just never got around to figuring out how to organize it all. That is one of my goals next year - I actually would like the use CRAFT and VOICES headers to organize reading/writing lesson topics. I love writing It is such an amazing resource.

    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack
    Balancing the Backpack

  11. Love the 6 Traits. I haven't read the book you posted but I have seen it around. Thanks for sharing this great info.
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  12. I haven't read this book, but it looks like it may be worth looking into. Thanks for stopping by our blog and leaving us a comment! We are now following you too!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  13. Hi Brandee,
    Your powerpoint is fantastic- very concise. I'll be adapting it for use in my first grade class. I also use the 6 Traits in Writing Workshop, but approach it a little differently because of the age of my audience. :) Thanks for sharing your great ideas!!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  14. I haven't read this book, but I've seen it all over. I will have to find a copy to read over the summer!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  15. Great post! I love to teach writing and I use the write traits and author studies with my primaries and it is so effective! We do each trait separately and practice in our writer's notebook. I am your newest follower.



    The Perks of Teaching Primary


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