Writing Across the Curriculum



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Writing Across the Curriculum

  • Chapter 9
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Frame of Mind

  • Why emphasize writing to learn in content areas?
  • Why integrate writing and reading?
  • How might teachers create occasions for students to write to read and to read to write?
  • How can teachers use exploratory writing activities to motivate students to read and write?

Frame of Mind

  • How can teachers use journals to connect writing and reading?
  • How can teachers develop essay writing through RAFT activities?
  • Why and how do teachers guide the writing process?

Key Terms

  • Academic journals
  • Admit slips
  • Audience
  • Biopoems
  • Double-entry journals
  • Exit slips
  • Freewriting
  • Historical character writing
  • Learning logs
  • RAFT writing assignments
  • Sketch books
  • Unsent letters

Reading and Writing Processes

  • Composing
  • Exploring
  • Motivating
  • Clarifying

Writing to Learn Activities

  • Unsent Letters
  • Biopoems
  • Dialogues
  • Admit Slips and Exit Slips
  • Microthemes
  • POVGs

Biopoem Example

  • Line 1: First name
  • Line 2: Four traits that describe character
  • Line 3: Relative of __________
  • Line 4: Who feels __________ (three items)
  • Line 5: Who needs __________(three items)
  • Line 6: Who gives ___________(three items)
  • Line 7: Last name

Admit Slips and Exit Slips

  • What’s confusing you about __________?
  • What problems did you have with your text assignment?
  • What would you like to get off your chest?
  • What do you like (dislike) about _________?

Journal Writing

  • Response journals
  • Historical character journals
  • Sketchbooks in art
  • Math journals
  • Freewriting response journals
  • Double-entry journals (DEJs)
  • Learning logs

Double-Entry Journal Sample

  • “What is the solar system?”
  • It is nine planets, along with asteroid belts, starts, black holes, and so on.
  • “What does it mean to you?”
  • The solar system is a mystery to me. I know the planets and stuff, but how did it come into being? Galileo had something to do with the solar system, but I’m not sure exactly what. I would like to find out more about it.

Essays are effective writing-to-learn tools when…

  • content exploration and synthesis, not form and organization, become the primary motives for the writing assignment.
  • writing involves reading more than a single text source.
  • students engage in the writing process.

RAFT Writing Assignments

  • Role
  • Audience
  • Form
  • Topic

Stages in the Writing Process

  • Discovery
    • Exploring and generating ideas
    • Finding a topic
    • Making plans (Audience? Form? Voice?)
    • Getting started

Stages in the Writing Process

Stages in the Writing Process

Evaluating a Writing Activity

  • Accurate content in support of a position statement.
  • A logical and coherent set of ideas in support of a position statement.
  • A convincing and persuasive position statement aimed at a specific audience.


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