9-12 Resources: The Write Stuff

Writing Tool Box

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. A better writer is a better reader! Writing based on real-world experiences and familiar tasks is engaging and motivating and helps children connect what they know, understand and think. The21st Century demands that literate people possess a wide range of writing skills.

Writer’s Write

Keep a journal for all sorts of writing opportunities. One can always write about something you read. But do not pass up the opportunity to reflect on activities of the day: a soccer match, a trip to the grocery store, a traffic jam that made you late. Keep a weather journal! The opportunities are limitless and writing about an incident or activity can make writing relevant. Make writing and reflecting on an experience or activity a habit. Make certain that materials for journaling are available: pencils or pens, paper, white board, journals or computer writing programs.

Topics for writing might include:

  • Set of instructions, such as how to care for a pet
  • A thank you letter to a relative
  • Shopping list
  • A book review of a recently read book
  • With presidential elections looming, write a description of presidential attributes important to you
  • Use a newspaper photo and write your own article
  • Keep a diary, guest book or baby book for a younger sibling

Read with a Writer’s Eye (The Craft of Writing)

A mentor text is any piece of writing, partial or complete, that can be used to teach a writer about some aspect of writer’s craft. A mentor text can be a picture book, a line, a passage, a chapter from a novel, a feature magazine article, a news article, an op-ed/editorial, a recipe, a brochure…anything that would serve as a model for what students might wish to write.

Citing Sources to Strengthen the Message

It is essential that your child learn to use resources to research a topic and to credit the of that information to strengthen his stance. This is a valuable writing skill essential to writing and defending a statement or position. It is all too easy to copy and paste a bit of information into a paper, so it is important to learn to credit the original author(s). Use these online resources to help develop this writing skill.

Writing in the Real World

Everyone reads and everyone writes. Helping youth notice the great variety of writing all around them "in the real world" not only helps them learn that people of all ages write for a variety of purposes, for different audiences and in different forms or genres, but it also motivates them to write in genres that are new and engaging and helps them become more fluent and more flexible writers.

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Effective writing requires good grammar, spelling and punctuation. There are many resources in print or online if you need some help in this area. There are free apps that can guide your spelling or grammar dilemmas.