I’ve been reading a textbook’s writing checklists for each paragraph pattern. Usually the checklists only differ by one or two sentences. If the textbook authors cannot better identify the critical parts of each paragraph pattern, how do they think that students will be able to write in that pattern? Their checklists are not formative. They are vague such as “Do all of my supporting sentences relate to the topic sentence?” If the students write a poorly written paragraph, they may think that all of their supporting sentences relate to the topic. How do we transform writing from an art to more of science?
I know of a teacher who gives her students a precise very structured format to use in their writing. Her format may not be beautiful but it enables each of her students to score 5 or 6/6 on the writing rubric. How to we move from a super structured format to empowering the students to write on their own?