Teaching Composition Skills: A Table of Contents for Teachers

By Carole Bruzzano

All students need basic composition skills to communicate effectively in writing. For elementary and even high school students, the lessons in this table of contents will produce results. What are those results? An increase in the quality of student writing throughout the year.

Teaching Essay Writing From Elementary Through High School

Are you searching for engaging activities and ideas for teaching prewriting, parts of a composition, punctuation, structure and Writing Compositions development, elaboration and more? This is the ultimate resource for you. There is also a homeschooling section included for those who fill a combined parent-teacher role.

Enhance your writing instruction beginning today. Search through the different lessons by section and choose the ones specific to the skills your students need.

Teaching Strategies for Pre-writing

Short on ideas for getting your students to write? Use these lessons and tips to get your students thinking about topics to develop. Then, list, brainstorm or cluster with students as presented in these lessons. It's a first step for moving students toward independent writing. Notetaking and outlining are other options offered in this section. Don't limit instructional strategies to just one; introduce the variety of choices to students. Eventually, during independent writing, students will choose the ones that work best for them.

Teaching Parts of the Composition

After generating ideas and getting your students thinking, the next step is to teach parts of the composition. Teaching topic sentences, elaboration and paragraph organization may be a challenging task, but with these quality lessons your instruction is made easy. Whether teaching elementary or high school language arts, the lessons here will improve your students' composition skills.

Teaching Punctuation

Once your students independently organize and write full-length compositions, make them aware (if they aren't already) of proper punctuation. Use the lessons here to introduce, teach and, when needed, re-teach punctuation to your students. Then, use students' essays as models and examples in follow-up lessons. This will reinforce student learning and increase the likelihood of long-term retention.

Teaching Structure and Development

Are you currently teaching students the different paragraph developments? This is the section to search through for effective lessons on specific essay developments. The more students apply the different developments to their writing, the more likely they are to use these developments automatically in future independent writing situations.

Teaching Word Choice

Teaching students how to choose proper words for writing assignments improves the quality of their work. Through word choice, students create a tone in their writing pieces, contributing to this improvement. Use the lessons here to teach students about word choice to encourage and support this growth. These lessons work! The evidence - student's final writing products.

Teaching Style and Elaboration

Once students have a basic understanding of drafting a composition, more attention can be given to style and elaboration. Use the lessons presented in this section to assist students in these areas. Tone, mood, sensory details and effective sentence structure all contribute to defining a style and adding elaboration to students' writing.

Teaching Revising and Evaluating

This section includes lessons for revising, evaluating and developing grading criteria for drafted compositions. Define expectations. Minimize the subjectivity. When learning goals are clear for students, learning objectives are more likely to be met; their final products will be evidence of that.

Homeschool Resources and Online Instruction

For the teacher who is also the parent, use the resources here to enhance writing instruction for your children (who are your students!). Use the information in the homeschool curriculum article to compare with your own to ensure all skills are included. Use the other links to create engaging and effective activities. Enrich your writing instruction while effortlessly incorporating technology into it. Your students are sure to enjoy the new and computer-based instruction you provide for them.

A Gift Lasting A Lifetime

Use this table of contents to guide your planning and instruction so that all of your students make strides toward improving their composition skills. With the exception of homeschooled children, your students may not remember your name in ten years, but they will remember these writing skills - they will be using them for a lifetime.



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