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The Six Traits of Writing are:

Ideas
Organization
Voice
Word Choice
Sentence Fluency
Conventions

Ideas:
Students should have a list of interesting topics to write about in their writers‟ notebooks,
and the teacher should have a chart of ideas posted somewhere in his/her classroom. Be
sure to add to this list continually throughout the year as it‟s a work in progress.

If students say, “I don‟t know what to write about,” you can refer them to this list. I
prefer to reply, “That‟s too bad. I guess you won‟t be talking today because writing is
simply talking on paper.” 

How well do your students stick to the topic at hand and develop their ideas? If they‟re
struggling here, be sure to model mini-lessons in your write aloud time during writer‟s
workshop.
Organization:
The number one organizational rule for the M.A.P. test is for the paper to have a
beginning, middle and end. Many teachers use the hamburger method to teach this and
expand from there. See document at the end of this page for another example of a
prewriting graphic organizer.

Remember that
this is minimal;
it’s just a graphic
organizer.

Voice:
Consider using magazine pictures or greeting cards and have students pretend to be a
person/object in the photo. What would that person look like/sound like? Be sure to model
a strong example of this before asking students to write. The voice is like the student‟s
thumbprint on the page.

What would the dog sound like?


Where’s he planning to go? What
will he do when he gets there?

What would the toothbrush sound


like? 
Word Choice:
Are you tired of words like said, nice, pretty …? Put them to bed … or in jail … or …

Conventions:
Do you have your editing checklist posted in your classroom? The list should start small
and gradually expand as the year progresses. Consolidate items where you can so the list
doesn‟t become overwhelming.
Prescription Pad Editing
Dr. Rich Allen modeled a fun way for students to peer-edit or self-edit papers at the Brain
Expo in Newport Beach, California last week.

Materials needed:

Clipboard, Editing Prescription Pad, White Lab Coat (if you have one), Large Manila Envelope

Students look for:

Severed Spelling
Capitalization Cold
Run-on Runny Nose
Indent-itus
Punctured Punctuation
Tense tension

Once diagnosis is finished, the results go into a large manila envelope labeled “Official X-
Ray Results.”

It‟s fun, but this only diagnoses the „editing mistakes.‟ It doesn‟t check for staying on
topic, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, etc. Before students submit a paper for
editing, consider having them complete a checklist to ensure they have met all
requirements for a solid piece of writing.

Source: Allen, R. (2008). Green Light Classrooms: Teaching Techniques That Accelerate Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press (pages 151-153)
My Writing Ideas
A: B: C: D:

E: F: G: H:

I: J: K: L:

M: N: O: P:

Q: R: S: T:

U: V: W: XYZ:

~Remember that writing is simply talking on paper.


Restate Prompt Here:

Finally,
First,

Then,
Remember
to use juicy
words!

Consider
a simile
here:
like a …

Use
details,
details,
details!

Closing Sentences:
Pre-S.C.R.I.P.T.-ion for Writing
Dr.________________ Edit

Name of Writing:_____________________________ By:______________________

Type of Illness: Source: Allen, R. (2008). Green Light


Classrooms: Teaching Techniques That
Accelerate Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Severed spelling Corwin Press (pages 151-153)

Capitalization cold
Run-on runny nose
Indent-itus
Punctured punctuation
Tense tension

Serious of Illness: 1 2 3 4 5

Recommended Treatment:_________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Pre-S.C.R.I.P.T.-ion for Writing


Dr.________________ Edit

Name of Writing:_____________________________ By:______________________

Type of Illness: Source: Allen, R. (2008). Green Light


Classrooms: Teaching Techniques That
Accelerate Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Severed spelling Corwin Press (pages 151-153)

Capitalization cold
Run-on runny nose
Indent-itus
Punctured punctuation
Tense tension

Serious of Illness: 1 2 3 4 5

Recommended Treatment:_________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________
IDEAS
ORGANIZATION
LEAD SENTENCE

BODY

CLOSING SENTENCE
VOICE
I left my
„thumbprint‟
on the page.
WORD CHOICE
What word can
I use INSTEAD
of nice?

SYNONYMS
SENTENCE FLUENCY

My writing flows when read


aloud. Some sentences are
long, some are short and some
are somewhere in the middle.
CONVENTIONS
LOOK OUT!
I HAVE
A CHECKING
PENCIL, AND
I’M READY TO
USE IT!