Stephen King writes, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” How can we use that reading and writing connection to help children understand what good writers do?
Begin with a mentor text.
I enjoy talking with children about what makes a piece of writing work. Together, we analyze published writing for the same traits we want to practice in our own writing. We use this poster to guide our conversations. Click on the poster to download, copy, and share with your students.
We ask these questions about the text.
- What are the big ideas? How do I know?
- What are the details that support the big ideas?
- How does the writer connect the big ideas and details to each other?
- What does the word choice say about the writer’s intended audience or purpose?
- How do the sentences sound when read aloud?
- How does the writer connect to me as a reader?
Finally, I ask children to design their own metaphor for these traits. Suggestions include parts of a car or house, weather, television shows, toolbox, colors, etc.