Now and then, homeschool parents ask us about WriteShop and the 6 Traits of Effective Writing.
6 + 1® Trait Writing is a model for teaching and assessing writing. Originally, it was intended less as a teaching tool and more as an evaluation tool. Its purpose? To help teachers identify student strengths and weaknesses.
Although WriteShop wasn’t modeled after Six Traits, our products offer similar tools to teach, edit, and grade your kids’ writing. We want to help homeschool parents teach writing more effectively. So these skills and tools just make sense.
WriteShop I & II for teens and WriteShop Primary and Junior for elementary give the guidance you need to confidently teach writing! This article focuses on WriteShop I and II for middle- and high school homeschoolers.
Creating Good Writers
Students become good writers through modeling, discussion, and plenty of practice. But most homeschooling moms need guidelines and tools to help them teach writing effectively. Even if you love to write, you’re likely to appreciate a writing curriculum that offers:
- Instructions to teach the writing process and specific writing skills
- Guided writing (modeling)
- Step-by-step student directions
- Practical application of grammar and spelling to writing
- Checklists and rubrics to edit and evaluate writing
WriteShop and the 6 Traits
While our products don’t fully align with Six Traits, two WriteShop I & II tools meet many Six Traits criteria: Writing Skills Checklists and Composition Evaluation forms.
With the checklists, you’ll give teens valuable feedback and a chance to improve their paper. And the evaluation form provides a rubric for effective, accurate grading.
Let’s look at how elements of WriteShop I and II parallel each of the Six Traits.
Trait 1: Ideas
The main focus or purpose for writing. WriteShop asks:
- Did students follow directions for the assignment?
- Have they included lesson-specific content?
- Have they supported their ideas with details?
Trait 2: Organization
The internal structure of the writing. WriteShop asks:
- Did students use appropriate topic and closing sentences?
- Have they used transition words when necessary?
- Have they communicated clearly?
Trait 3: Voice
The sense that the writer is speaking directly to the reader. WriteShop asks:
- Did your student write in the correct narrative voice for the assignment?
Trait 4: Word Choice
The use of concrete, colorful, precise vocabulary to communicate meaning
- Did students use vivid, active, colorful words?
- Did they avoid vague, repeated, or overused words?
- Have they limited use of passive voice (“to be” words)?
Trait 5: Sentence Fluency
The flow and readability of the text; effective use of sentence variations. WriteShop asks:
- Did students communicate clearly and avoid awkwardness?
- Did they use a number of interesting sentence variations?
- Have they used tenses properly?
Trait 6: Conventions
The mechanical correctness, including spelling, punctuation, and grammar. WriteShop asks:
- Did students adhere to conventions of form?
- Have they correctly used punctuation, capitalization, and grammar?
- Did they spell correctly?
- Did they use correct sentence structure?
WriteShop helps you teach and evaluate writing with confidence! Download a catalog today! Or, learn more about each of our homeschool-friendly products here:
Sign up for the WriteShop list to get your free 240 printable writing prompt cards.