Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Self-instructions



When students engage in a dialogue with themselves, they are able to orient, organize, and focus their thinking. By talking through steps and procedures, learners are able to go through the Composition process and consciously direct their Attention to relevant aspects of their learning.

Use It in the Classroom

Beginning at 6:15, watch this fifth grade teacher conference with a student about his writing. As he explains his plan, he shares his thinking and how he can improve his writing. Now when he continues to work independently, he can work on these next steps that he voiced to his teacher.

  • Teachers can introduce different types of self-instructions, like structuring an argument or implementing a strategy, that may be helpful for students during the writing process. When asking students to verbalize their thinking, teachers can understand how to support them in their writing. Teachers can also have students create their own multi-step projects on assigned topics to increase student autonomy in the classroom.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Watch how Turnitin's Revision Assistant can help students plan their writing based on immediate feedback. Through targeted comments and ratings on a rubric, students know how to improve their writing, and they can apply these suggestions to other areas of their writing, creating a plan to enrich their pieces.

  • Developers can provide a place for students to keep track of their progress on more complex projects and papers to help students take ownership of their learning and prepare them for the future. Platforms can include prompts or sentence starters that encourage self-instructions, such as "I need to make a plan. First I will… and then…" or "I can revise and improve…". By asking learners to reflect on their processes and by providing examples that students can check against, learners continue to develop their understanding of writing.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy