Allowing assessment to become an informative piece of the instructional process can start with very small steps, and in my experience, starting small prevents overwhelm and allows the true meaning of the formative assessment process to be preserved a bit better over time. Many of the teachers that I work with rely upon the 6+1 Traits of Writing in their efforts to help students better understand what good writing looks like and how they might develop these criteria in their own pieces. What follows here is a quick set of resources for those who are new or even experienced users of the Traits. Thank you to my network on Twitter for pointing me to many of these. Please leave a comment below to share what you have found in your travels as well!
Getting Started: Understanding the 6+1 Traits of Writing
- NWREL provides this description of the traits on their website.
- Research regarding the model is available there as well.
- Steve Peha of Teaching That Makes Sense shares a wealth of writing resources on the sidebar of his home page. This download, which focuses on writing assessment, supplements the work of the Traits very well.
- Jeff Watson and Mary Peterson provide an introductory guide to using the Traits here.
- Interested in receiving training for your own purposes or becoming a turn-key trainer? This page provides details that you might find helpful.
Scoring Guides and Rubrics
- Official scoring guides, including the condensed rubrics, can be found here. This page also includes samples of scored student papers and practice opportunities for new users.
- Kid-friendly rubrics and other resources have been shared here by the South Dakota Department of Education. Maryvale Elementary in Alabama provided their kid-friendly rubric to Middleweb.
- A rubric to grade converter can be found at NWREL.
Sample Lesson Plans and Prompts
- NWREL has compiled this extensive database of lesson plans that incorporate use of the Traits.
- A set of writing prompts is provided here.
- Northern Nevada teachers share 59 Traits-based lessons at Writing Fix, using mentor text to model use of the traits via picture books, chapter books, excerpts of literature, and poetry. Check out Rob Stone’s iPod inspired lessons here!
Locating Mentor Texts
- A bibliography of resources aligned to the Traits is provided at Writing Fix.
- The South Dakota Department of Education shares their lists here.
- Picture Book of the Day is the blog of author and teacher Anastasia Suen.
- Scholastic offers mentor text recommendations here.
- Deb Renner Smith blogs about writing, reading, and mentor text at Writing and Reading Lessons.
Writing Process Support
- Ruth Culham shares the 6+1 Traits of Revision at Scholastic.
- Teaching That Makes Sense is the place to find all of Steve Peha’s fabulous writing downloads.
Web 2.0 is All About Writing
- Visualizing how the writing process, the Traits, and web 2.0 tools work together at WiredInstructor.
- For younger users: at OWL.
- Check out Steve Peha’s Reading-Writing Poster Pack at Teaching that Makes Sense.
Other Valuable 6+1 Traits Resources To Support Your Continued Professional Development