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Last updated by Sue Bridges

Resources, ideas and strategies for increasing student achievement in writing

Resources shared by participants in the Literacy Online Community Listserv


Back to School Ideas
Back to school  

Encouraging Blogging Interaction

Encouraging blog engagement 



Come and read and add your own ideas to engage students in writing in blogs




An interesting development in progress re literacy progressions.  Check it out here

Literacy Progressions Matrix .

ICT helping reluctant writers find a voice  Speaker: Jo Fothergill
Reluctant Writers Jo Fothergill

Jo Fothergill, a 2011 CORE Education eFellow, researched how ICT could help her students find their voice and explored what 'writing' actually is. She challenges us to consider 'If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."


Check out The Balanced Literacy Diet especially Promoting the Enjoyment of Writing and Writing Wizards Portfolio Wall.

To answer all your queries re e-asTTle check out the manuals

e-asTTle Manuals

Collaborative Writing:
ESOL Online information on Collaborative writing and ESOL writing strategies
You Tube Video about collaboratively creating an eBook with a class in another country

A strategy that works well for collaborative writing is joint construction. This can also be followed by a vanishing close. You can use these strategies with any level of text that is appropriate to your learners and is particularly useful for focusing on content and lexical chunks you want students to become familiar with. Both strategies provide learners with multiple opportunities to see, hear and use authentic language in an academic contexts as well as ensuring that all students are actively involved in the learning. A third strategy for collaborative work is a dictogloss. This link contain details of the strategy as well as two great reference texts.

Tools to support collaborative writing include:
Story builder   See a sample here 
Etherpad  See a sample here of a first session.  Note that the chat box should be used for the teacher students to provide feedback to others by copying and pasting groups of words that make a strong impact on the reader - aroused a strong visual image for example.  It is important to scaffold the writing and to provide a model so that students can "borrow" from others if necessary in order to get started.  See more info on scaffolding collaborative writing here.

100 word challengeA weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog. The link is usually open from midnight on Wednesdays until midnight the following Tuesdays.

5 sentence challengeA fortnightly creative writing challenge for children under 16 but it is aimed at the younger end or those children who may struggle with 100 words. The prompts are thematic and the link is open for two weeks giving more time for discussion and posting. The children should create 5 sentences about the theme. These can be as a list of 5 or as a piece of prose.

One Word Challenge
One Word

Here's what one staff meeting session on its use produced:

Start with basic words for younger students, e.g dog; Fact or fiction; Brainstorm story ideas, key words; Vocabulary - building meaning; Kick starting writing; Speed Writing; Increase volume; Phrasing… deep and surface features; Poetry; Write a simile using this word; Collate to create a calligram/shape poem; Synonyms, antonyms; Topic words; Word processing speed with purpose; Break down fear of getting into writing...


Recipe for writing  

Recipe for Writing - a great way to model the ‘show not tell’ strategy! Provides the ingredients for a story, and once you've tried one you can make up more of your own to scaffold different styles of writing.  Eventually students can make up their own recipes.


CAFE Daily 5


CAFE and Daily 5 by The Sisters - Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  Articles, professionally edited videos, downloads, lesson plans, book reviews, and much more that have been specifically designed to support teachers. 




Further discussions about CAFE and Daily 5 can be found in the VLN at 


Vicki Spandel Resource

If you are interested in a resource for what to teach and what texts to use, try Vicki Spandel's "Creating Young Writers".  A good resource for growing teacher knowledge about what makes good writing and how to explore that with children.  The book is set out in chapters around the 6 traits (Ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions) with two chapters per trait. The first chapter for each trait is devoted to looking for examples of the trait in children's writing and in mentor texts suitable for primary students. The second of the chapters is devoted to a variety of ways to teach the trait. Each chapter also has study and discussion questions making it a useful resource for using in professional learning for a staff.



  Teaching that makes sense

This website has downloadable pdfs on strategies for writing and reading.  Check out 'The Writing Teachers Strategy Guide' and 'What makes good writing?'


The Literacy Shed

A series of themed visual resources for stimulating literacy lessons


Making Writing Fun

A co-constructed resource of ideas begun by Anne Kenneally.  This Google presentation allows all users to add to the growing repertoire of resources that make the writing programmes fun in classrooms.


Engaging Reluctant Writers

A Google Presentation by Catriona Pene of ideas and online tools for engaging reluctant writers


The Write Guy

The Write Guy - books for writing by Jeff Anderson


Scholastic Story Starters

Scholastic Story Starters Ideas to get students writing


BeL Literacy Engaging Students in Writing

Blended e-Learning Literacy Group section on Engaging Students in Writing


Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools

Lenva Shearing's Cool Tools for Schools Wiki with sections of online tools for specific purposes - see the Writing Tools but also many other sections for ways to enhance student writing.  This is a great repertoire when you know what your literacy learning intention is, What strategies you want to use, and then want to find some tools that will engage and enable students.