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6 + 1 Traits of Writing
The second grade classes will be introducing the 6+1 writing format to students this school year. Our goal is to familiarize our students with the terms and concepts of 6+1 in an attempt to help our students become better writers. The six traits are listed below with a brief description of each trait.Hopefully by teaching students to see, hear, practice, and internalize the traits, we will help them gain control and confidence in their own writing.
Ideas make up the content of the piece. When the ideas are strong, the overall message is clear, not garbled. For students to arrive at good content, we must help them:
+ Select an idea
+ Narrow the idea
+ Elaborate on the idea
+ Discover the best information to convey the main idea
To be effective in the ideas trait, students will find they can? write about everything-they have to narrow their ideas down to those that are manageable.
Organization is the internal structure of the piece, the thread of central meaning, the pattern of logic. Some points to remember about organization are:
+ An inviting introduction gets the reader started and gives clues about what is to come.
+ Thoughtful transitions link key points and ideas.
+ Sequencing should be logical, purposeful, and effective.
+ A satisfying conclusion wraps it all up, yet leaves the reader with something to wonder about.
Organization and ideas work hand in hand. To organize text well, one must have meaty ideas that can be grouped logically to form a beginning, middle, and an ending.
As important as voice is to creating a good piece of writing, it is hard to define. Some say that
voice is the golden thread that runs through a piece of writing. It is how the reader knows it is really you speaking. Voice is how the writing draws the reader in and creates a bond between reader and writer. It is the style, tone, flavor, and soul of the writing.
Word choice is about the use of rich, colorful, precise language than communicates not just in a functional way, but also in a way that moves and enlightens the reader. In good descriptive writing, strong word choice clarifies and expands ideas. In persuasive writing, it moves you to a new vision of things. In narrative writing, it creates images in your mind that are so real, you feel like you are part of the story itself.
Sentence fluency is the auditory trait. Fluent writing is graceful, varied, and rhythmic-almost musical. Sentences are easy to read, well built, and seem to flow. Strong sentence fluency is marked by creative phrasing, alliteration, and word order that makes reading feel natural. Fluent writing is free of awkward word patterns that slow the reader? progress.
Conventions deal with the editing of spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage, capitalization, and paragraphing. Conventions allow us to edit the text and prepare it for an audience.
Presentation is the final piece of the 6+1 traits. Presentation is how the writing looks to the reader. A presentable writing piece exhibits uniform spacing, legible and consistent handwriting, appealing use of white space, and pleasing illustrations.
It is our hope that at the end of second grade our students have an understanding of the six traits listed above. During our daily writing block we will be discussing each of the six traits and hopefully our students will have an understanding of this approach to writing.