Literacy 4-6

Direct Instruction: Writing Strategies


Explicitly teaching strategies for planning, writing, and revising texts improves students' writing quality. By focusing on an individual strategy and spending time describing, modeling, and having students practice that strategy, teachers can help students develop their Foundational Writing Skills, Syntax, and Verbal Reasoning skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as this teacher uses the gradual release model to teach the writing strategy of using vivid imagery. Students engage in a discussion about the strategy, see the strategy modeled, participate in guided practice, and then practice independently.

  • Since writing is a complex activity, students can become more effective writers and see themselves as writers when they learn to use strategies for different stages of the writing process. Explicitly teaching writing strategies like enhancing word choice, sentence combining, adding detail, and revising based on feedback, helps students build a toolbox of strategies to use to improve their writing. Using a direct instruction method like Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) can help deepen understanding of these individual strategies by teaching them through the steps of developing students' Background Knowledge, discussing the strategy, modeling the strategy, memorizing the strategy, supporting the strategy, and providing independent practice.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • It is important that as students learn new strategies, they have scaffolded support to master and independently apply them. Developers can create programs that include explicit strategies with multiple stages to develop new writing skills.