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Chapter 16 – Teaching writing

Chapter Summary

The most important idea when teaching writing is to ensure that children can see a purpose for their writing. There are many ways that a teacher can scaffold children’s writing development, from modelled writing, shared and interactive writing, guided writing and independent writing where the child takes full control. 

Children can explore written texts and, with the teacher, re-create a variety of new texts. When children engage in the reading and writing processes for real purposes, they can explore the written language code as code breakers, the meanings that texts create, the use of different text types and genres for various purposes, and the ways the author’s intention can work on the reader. 

Teachers can help children develop their writing in individual, group and publishing conferences. Helping children read and critique each oth- er’s writing can help children understand that writing may sometimes be for self, but most of the time it is for an audience of peers.

Study Questions

Main ideas

What are the major teaching strategies for teaching writing (gradual release of responsibility)?
Explain the language experience approach and how this supports early writing.
Writing conferences are important in teaching writing. What is a writing conference?

Application to a developmental stage

How would you teach writing to beginning writers aged about five years?

Diverse learners

There will be wide differences in children’s writing in the early years. How does a teacher help to motivate all children to write?


What kind of feedback is important for developing writers?

Teaching plans

Read the case study of how a teacher planned a writing unit on ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.
What kind of teaching strategies were used?