Free tools to make your students better writers and readers .
Quill.org, a non-profit, provides free literacy activities that build reading comprehension, writing, and language skills for elementary, middle, and high school students.
New for 2022-2023 School Year: Quill's nonprofit mission is to now build both reading and writing skills through free, OER content across the curriculum. Over the coming years, we will be building a library of free ELA, social studies, and science activities that engage students in deeper thinking through writing prompts that provide immediate feedback.
8 million students have written 2 billion sentences on Quill.
Quill Reading for Evidence
Provide your students with nonfiction texts paired with AI-powered writing prompts, instead of multiple-choice questions, to enable deeper thinking.
Students read a nonfiction text and build their comprehension through writing prompts, supporting a series of claims with evidence sourced from the text. Quill challenges students to write responses that are precise, logical, and based on textual evidence, with Quill coaching the student through custom, targeted feedback on each revision so that students strengthen their reading comprehension and hone their writing skills.
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Culture & Society Topics
"Should Schools Have Grade Requirements for Student Athletes?"
"How Does Eating Meat Impact Global Warming?"
Social Studies Topics
Under Development, Coming 2023
Help your students advance from fragmented and run-on sentences to complex and well structured ones.
Using the evidence-based strategy of sentence combining, students combine multiple ideas into a single sentence. They then receive instant feedback designed to help them improve their clarity and precision.
The Quill Lessons tool enables teachers to lead whole-class and small-group writing instruction.
Teachers control interactive slides that contain writing prompts, and the entire class responds to each prompt. Each Quill Lessons activity provides a lesson plan, writing prompts, discussion topics, and a follow up independent practice activity.
Quickly determine which skills your students need to work on with our diagnostics.
The diagnostics cover vital sentence construction skills and generate personalized learning plans based on the student’s performance.
Proofreader teaches your students editing skills by having them proofread passages.
Students edit passages and receive personalized exercises based on their results. With over 100 expository passages, Proofreader gives students the practice they need to spot common grammatical errors.
Students practice basic grammar skills, from comma placement to parallel structure.
Quill Grammar has over 150 sentence writing activities to help your students. Our activities are designed to be completed in 10 minutes so you have the freedom to use them in the way that works best for your classroom.
How Quill Works
Set up your classroom, without it.
You can quickly and easily set up your classroom in Quill by inputting student names or providing students with a unique code. If you use Google Classroom or Clever, you can automatically set up your classroom with one click.
Decide if you want your students to proofread passages, combine sentences, or complete a diagnostic. Use our ten minute activities as building blocks during your classroom instruction.
Use easy-to-consume reporting
Use our reporting to spot trends and identify growth opportunities. Monitor comprehension on specific writing standards.
Get immediate feedback for your students
Save time grading and watch your students correct their mistakes instantly.
Intervene where students struggle
See exactly where your students need intervention with our comprehensive reports.
Differentiate learning to meet the needs of all students
Assign specific activities for ELLs and students with learning differences.
Engage students with adaptive activities
Challenge students with questions that automatically adapt based on their previous responses.
Align with the Common Core Standards
Easily meet Common Core language standards with our aligned activities.
Easily sign up with Google Classroom
With one click all of your students and classes will be imported.
Over 100 concepts totaling 50 hours of quality curriculum.
Quill in the classroom.
ROXANNA BUTKUS, RANGEVIEW ELEMENTARY
SARA ANGEL, KIPP LA
COLETTE KANG, EAST BAY INNOVATION ACADEMY
DANIEL SCIBIENSKI, PRINCETON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
3rd Grade ELA
5th Grade ELA
6th Grade ELA
8th Grade ELA & ELL
Join over 2,000 schools using Quill to advance student writing.
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- Our Mission
Building Lifelong Writing Skills
Instead of addressing a single piece of writing, elementary teachers can focus on students’ overall abilities and needs.
Are you looking for more effective ways to help your students become stronger writers? Would you love to be able to make the following statements?
- “I feel much more capable of identifying student needs in writing and teaching them strategies to use that improve their abilities.”
- “I feel as though I have a better understanding of what my students really need.”
These quotes are from educators who were reflecting on their first year teaching a writers’ workshop after working with their colleagues and me throughout the year. Both took the time to dig into some new ideas that helped them change their instructional practices in writing so that they were asking questions and making choices that moved their writers forward.
Prior to this year, these teachers tended to lean toward what many teachers often do—talk to students about what they see in their writing piece at the moment. For example, you may notice that a student isn’t using any elaboration techniques and their sentences or paragraphs are very short and simple. You may look through their piece and then ask the student, “What did that look like?” And then after they tell you, you might say, “OK, why don’t you write that down?”
But consider this: How will this correction or revision, which is based solely on that particular piece, help your student to elaborate well in their next piece? Will they take the strategy of adding details about how something looks and apply it to their writing next time?
In my experience, understanding Lucy Calkins’s idea of how to teach the writer, not the writing, is what we need to help grow writers so that students will apply new strategies in their future work. You want to know your students’ strengths and needs as writers, not just what the current writing piece may need at the moment. Then, and only then, will you provide them with the tools they need to improve their skills as writers.
Here are my tips for helping your writers grow in their abilities by providing them with what they need as writers.
Know your writers
The most important step to building up your writers is knowing them . Know their writing behaviors and ability level. There are three ways to accomplish this.
First, you’ll want to administer and analyze an “on demand” writing piece, a piece of writing that’s written independently in one period of time. As the students are writing, take note of their behaviors and record what you notice—are they engaged, on task, planning, revising, and editing?
Look through each writing piece and take note of the strengths and weaknesses. A rubric would be a helpful tool for this stage of the process. Then look at each piece according to the strands of the rubric and identify where the students stand.
The third way to know your writers is to talk to them. During independent writing time, meet with students and learn how they work. Ask them how they planned their writing piece, why they chose their topic, what they’ll be doing next, etc.
These questions will provide important information about how students think about the writing process, and it’s also an effective way to identify any struggles that students may be having with engagement. If they haven’t spent much time writing, or if you’ve seen them up and about and not writing, this is a simple way to find out why.
Find the ‘base level’ of need
Many times, the first aspect of writing that you notice in a student’s piece is what you choose to work on with the writer. For example, if you notice in one student’s piece that they consistently write only a page or two before moving on to a new topic, you may decide that they need to build their stamina or elaborate more.
There’s often something else beneath what we see in the writing, however, that’s causing the student difficulty. In this case, perhaps they didn’t take any time to plan or rehearse their writing. Missing this step of the writing process would certainly prevent them from knowing what to write, and as a result, they would have only a few ideas to include in their piece.
Teachers need to identify the real reasons for any difficulties their writers may have so that they can identify what they truly need to learn. This is another area where talking to and questioning students will help. As you hear more about a writer’s process and decision-making, you’ll be able to more easily identify their base area of need.
One tool I’ve found to be quite effective for teachers in identifying the base level of need is “The Hierarchy of Writing Goals,” from Jennifer Serravallo’s The Writing Strategies Book : Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers .
Teach the writers what they need
Once you’ve established the students’ areas of need, consider what the next steps might be in those skill areas that will help them to grow as writers. In the above example of the student who wrote only a page or two before starting a new topic, this writer needs techniques for planning out their writing. When they engage in the planning portion of the writing process, they won’t run out of things to include in their piece.
You’ll want to choose a few strategies and teach them one at a time, either within a whole-class mini-lesson, a small group, or a one-on-one conference. One helpful strategy for planning a writing piece is to draw a quick sketch for each step of the story on each page of a booklet. An effective planning strategy for an informational piece would be to use bullet points to establish subtopics.
Be sure the students understand that this is something writers do to help them write more about their topic and that they can use this anytime they’re planning a new piece.
Use language of the writing strategy, not the writing
The example at the beginning of this post of the student not using any elaboration techniques, with the teacher then asking them to write something for the piece that provides more detail, is an illustration of “teaching the writing.” Instead, it would have been better to teach the student a strategy that writers use for elaboration that would be useful for that piece, as well as future pieces.
You might say, “If writers want to help their readers to understand what they’re writing about, they need to elaborate with details. One way to do this as a writer is to include words that tell about how something looks. This will help the reader to visualize what they’re reading, which will be more interesting to them.”
Notice how the language is pointing to what writers do rather than what could or should be in the piece of writing. This language helps teachers to stay focused on the writer’s choices and moves, and it also helps your writers to understand that they make choices as a writer and that these skills can be used anytime they are writing.
Language is a very powerful aspect of “teaching the writer” for both the teacher and the students. The words you use when teaching a strategy will help you gear your instruction toward the writers. When you change your focus to growing your writers for their future and provide them with what they need for writing a new piece independently, you’ll make a much larger impact.
Know your writers, find their base level of need, and teach them strategies using language that focuses on the writer, not the writing. Your writers will be creating strong pieces in no time.
- Grades 6-12
- School Leaders
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Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Writing
Our favorite free and paid writing resources across the web!
Writing is one of the most important skills students can learn in school. Writing skills are linked to reading skills and to overall academic achievement. Luckily, there are loads of interesting and engaging websites to help make writing instruction fun. To help you get started, here’s a list of the best writing websites for teaching and learning.
With 9 million members and 800,000 participating K-12 classrooms, Storybird is the world’s largest language arts program. With Storybird, students can create short, visual stories on their own or with friends. In addition, this writing curriculum is aligned with Common Core standards and offers over 600 lessons, quizzes, and writing prompts created by seasoned educators and authors.
Cost: Free trial, subscription
With thousands of downloadable and projectable resources for writing instruction, as well as a collection of interactive online writing tools, Writing A-Z helps teachers meet the needs of every student at every learning level. In addition, teachers can track students’ progress, making individualized instruction a snap.
StoryJumper is a free storybook creation site for students in grades 1-8. Students create their own original stories, then add their own artwork or access images from StoryJumper’s library. Kids can write alone, collaborate with classmates or even connect with students around the world. In addition, the site includes teacher guides, writing projects, templates, and more.
Cost: Free, Prices vary for printed books
Features an expansive, curated collection of story-starts created by renowned authors such as Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Jeff Bruel (Bad Kitty). Students read the first chapter of a story, then write, edit and revise the next chapter themselves online. As a class project, teachers can assign all students the same story starter. Once all the stories are written, students can anonymously read other entries and peer assess and vote for the best version of the story.
Cost: $12.99 per book
An authentic classroom writing community and publishing platform built by teachers for teachers. Access units and lessons, free choice and creative writing tips, journaling lessons, quick writes, and more for students K-12.
Cost: Free, Premium and Premium Plus versions
This innovative, collaborative writing game revolves around digital story cards that represent different aspects of storytelling and character development. Along with visual cues, the cards serve as writing prompts, helping students figure out what to write next at each step of the game. Students take turns playing story cards and adding to the story. Paragraph by paragraph, they collaboratively write their own original story simply by playing the game.
Elementari integrates coding into writing as students create and publish simple interactive and animated digital stories. Using the online platform, students write and code, share, and remix interactive stories using professional illustrations and sounds. Teachers can monitor progress and offer personalized feedback to help students grow as writers.
Access 1000+ writing assignments and prompts organized by collection, genre, or grade level with Writable. Scaffold instruction and motivate your students to become purposeful, proficient writers. Also available: Skills activities, graphic organizers, quick writes, response to reading, and much more
Just like the fridge magnets we all know and love, this tool offers a selection of words and screen space for students to create their own poetry. They can request more words, start over and even share their poetry electronically. Magnetic Poetry is a perfect choice as a writing station or an option during creative play.
Make Beliefs Comix
Students of all ages love creating their own worlds through comic strips. MakeBeliefs Comix provides story ideas and comic starters as well as a gallery of comics for inspiration. Students choose from a wide cast of characters with different looks and moods and then write the words and thoughts for them. Also featured on this site: videos, writing tools, lesson plans, a special needs section, and an ideas exchange.
Read, Write, Think
Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English, this site offers high-quality, standards-aligned education materials for students K-12. Featuring hundreds of lesson plans, calendar resources, printouts, and interactive tools such as story maps, plot diagrams, timelines, and more.
PicLits is an e-learning website that utilizes photography and keywords to improve students’ literacy skills with an emphasis on interactive, visual learning. Inspired by an image, students create a caption, sentence, story, paragraph, poem, or even a quotation to capture the essence, story, and/or meaning of that image.
iWrite offers free online creative writing and illustration activities for kids in grades 1-8. In addition, they help writers take advantage of innovative online writing clubs, camps, workshops, and publishing opportunities. iWrite TV offers videos on topics like brainstorming, genre and theme, setting and description. and more.
Grammarly for Education
Grammarly helps students polish up their communication skills. A great student writing aid, it allows students to check their writing for typos, commonly confusing words, tricky sentence structure, and more. And Grammarly has hundreds of informative blogs such as H ow to Write a Research Paper, How to Write a Poem, and Grammar Tips.
Cost: Free basic plan, Subscription Education options.
StoryboardThat is an easy drag-and-drop creation platform with cross-curricular applications for writers K-12. With over 3,000 lesson plans and activities , teachers can create materials and lessons for their classes which will help students can take ownership of their voice and learning.
One of Writer’s Digest’s 101 best websites, Mignon Fogarty offers “Quick and Dirty Tips” with blogs and videos such as Top Ten Grammar Myths and Can You Start a Sentence with And to help students become the best writers possible.
NaNoWritMo Young Writers Program
NaNoWritMo’s Young Writers Program supports young writers and K-12 educators as they participate in National Novel Writing Month each November and offers smaller writing challenges year-round. Kids can track their word-count goal for the month and draft their novel right on the site. Plus, they can get support from published authors and an international community of fellow novelists.
The largest online poetry community in the world and a safe, creative, free place for teen poets and teachers. Chock full of resources, there are lesson plans, classroom activity guides, and printable worksheets to help you in the classroom.
Poetry Foundation Teen Section
The Poetry Foundation offers a variety of articles, videos and podcasts to help teens in all aspects of poetry. You’ll find tips on understanding and writing poems along with featured poems by famous poets. The Poetry Foundation also has a Children Section as well as a Teacher Section.
Free writing resources for students K-12 in seven main categories. Each category includes a selection of fun writing games, instructional videos, printable writing worksheets, and other writing tools. This site also offers online courses with writing instruction by certified teachers.
Cost: Free resources, Fees for online courses
What are your favorite writing websites for the classroom? Share in the comments below!
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How to Teach Writing to Elementary Students: 6 Key Areas of Focus
A local policeman recently explained to an elementary school class, “In 20 years, I have shot my gun twice. I use my pen every day. If you want to be a cop, you have to learn to write.”
This was good advice. Today, more than 90% of white-collar and 80% of blue-collar workers’ jobs involve writing. Writing also enhances our lives beyond the workplace. Capable writers have a powerful tool for learning and personal development, compelling communication, social and political engagement, self-expression and self-advocacy, and more.
Skilled writing is complex, requiring extensive self-regulation of a flexible, goal-directed, problem-solving activity. Becoming a good writer takes time and development, but what should elementary students know, believe, and be able to do on their path to becoming thoughtful, effective, and fluent writers?
6 Goals for Teaching Writing in the Elementary Classroom
State and national standards, as well as the research we have on writing and its development, pinpoint six critical goals for all of our students when it comes to developing their identities as writers.
1. Facility With the Writing Process and Writing Contexts
Basic components of the writing process include prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Skilled writers use these parts of the process recursively and thoughtfully—not as a simple sequence of events! By the end of the elementary grades, our students need to be engaging successfully in each aspect of the writing process. The research is clear: students who know and use the writing process well become stronger writers.
However, students cannot come to use the writing process effectively unless they have had time and opportunities to write. Our students also need explicit instruction, support, and experience writing to learn to self-regulate this complex process, including orchestrating goal setting and self-assessment of both process and product. Our young writers are learning to focus on factors such as organization, form, and features; purposes and goals; reader perspectives and needs; and evaluation of whether their multiple goals are being well met. It’s a lot, but given opportunities to collaborate with peers and their teachers in a supportive and motivating writing environment, research shows that process writing for elementary students can be used effectively.
2. Powerful “Know How”
By the end of the elementary grades, students need to have developed powerful knowledge and capabilities that enable them to write for multiple purposes. Writing to tell a narrative, inform or explain, and persuade are each important to success in and out of school, although not all that our students need to learn about writing. Each of these genres has its own structure, conventions, and language. Skilled writers use strategies appropriate either across genres—for example, an opening that catches the reader, or good word choice—or specific to a genre, such as use of emotional appeal to persuade a reader. Further, much as a jazz musician first learns a melody before rifting, twisting, and improvising, our students come to own the genre knowledge and strategies they are learning and develop their own voice and approach across writing tasks, genres, and audiences.
The research is clear: Students who know and use the writing process well become strong writers.
3. Academic Language and Vocabulary
As students become immersed in the writing process and develop “know how,” they develop powerful academic language that will be invaluable as they continue to develop as writers in middle and high school—and beyond. By the end of the elementary grades, our students should have a solid foundation in the language used in discourse about writing. This foundation of writing skills for elementary students should be developed across listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We know that students who can use academic language effectively are more likely to succeed in and out of school. Learning how to choose words carefully when writing to maximize communicating with your reader, and developing word learning strategies, will set our students on the path to expand and deepen their vocabulary and their effective use of language when writing.
4. Writing to Comprehend and Learn
Reading and writing in the elementary classroom are two of the primary cornerstones for building content learning across the curriculum. Until recently, writing effectively to inform or persuade after close reading of source texts was not a common expectation in the elementary grades. Many state and national standards now require fourth and fifth graders to write logical and compelling informative or persuasive essays based on close reading of source text—referring to text that can be read to obtain facts, definitions, details, quotations, ideas, or other information.
Additional writing strategies for elementary school students to enhance learning include writing a summary, writing to apply content learned, using writing to connect content to one’s personal life, and defending a particular point of view about what has been read. Creative teachers find many meaningful ways to integrate reading and writing, and research shows integrating the two leads to improvements in each. Teachers and researchers have shown that even early elementary grade students can learn how to write based on what they have learned by reading and discussion!
5. Competence and Fluency With Writing Conventions, Sentence Construction, Digital Tools, Handwriting, Spelling, and Keyboarding
Skilled writers rarely have to think about handwriting, keyboarding, or spelling. Explicit development of each of these skills is critical in the elementary grades. Further, by the end of the elementary grades our students should have a sound foundation in use of writing conventions, creating effective sentences, and use of digital tools.
6. "I Am a Writer!"
Sometimes writing is hard, but we can help our students develop positive attitudes about writing, and learn how to deal with emotions and challenges all writers face. Our students need to leave the elementary grades knowing they can write. When students have developed as writers in each area addressed here, they will leave the elementary grades with the knowledge, capabilities, and beliefs needed to learn and grow further as writers.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.
Karen Harris is an advisor on HMH’s READ 180 Universal blended literacy intervention program, which is celebrating 20 years of innovation and acceleration.
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When you want students to understand how writing is graded, turn to our vast selection of assessment examples. You'll find elementary and middle school models in all of the major modes of writing, along with rubrics that assess each example as "Strong," "Good," "Okay," or "Poor." You can also download blank rubrics to use with your own students.
Discover more writing assessment tools for Grade 2 , Grade 3 , Grades 4-5 , Grades 6-8 , Grades 9-10 , and Grades 11-12 —including writing on tests and responding to prompts.
Jump to . . .
- Grades 9-10
- Grades 11-12
Response to Literature
- Julius the Baby of the World Book Review Strong One Great Book Book Review Good Dear Mr. Marc Brown Book Review Okay Snowflake Bentley Book Review Poor
- 4th of July Traditions Explanatory Essay Strong Happy Halloween Explanatory Essay Good Turkey Day Explanatory Essay Okay Forth of July Explanatory Essay Poor
- Get a Dog Persuasive Paragraph Strong Please Be Kind Persuasive Paragraph Good Let Me stay up with Shane Persuasive Paragraph Okay We need Bedder Chips Persuasive Paragraph Poor
- The Horrible Day Personal Narrative Strong Keeping the Dressing Personal Narrative Good Friday Personal Narrative Okay Dee Dees hose Personal Narrative Poor
- Mildew Houses Description Strong Grandpa's Face Description Good A Cool Restrant Description Okay Hot Dogs Description Poor
- Zev's Deli Description Strong Our Horses Description Good My Favorit Lake Description Okay The Zoo Description Poor
- How to Bake a Cake How-To Strong Make a Blow-Up Box How-To Good How to Feed a Dog How-To Okay A Kite How-To Poor
- Recycling Jars and Cans How-To Strong Getting to the Park How-To Good Planting a Garden How-To Okay How to Pull a tooth How-To Poor
- Thunderstorm! Narrative Paragraph Strong My Trip to the Zoo Narrative Paragraph Good My Lost Puppy Narrative Paragraph Okay My Trip Narrative Paragraph Poor
- The Sled Run Personal Narrative Strong The Funny Dance Personal Narrative Good Texas Personal Narrative Okay A Sad Day Personal Narrative Poor
- No School Persuasive Paragraph Strong Dogs Stay Home! Persuasive Paragraph Good A New Pool Persuasive Paragraph Okay A Bigger Cafaterea Persuasive Paragraph Poor
- New Sidewalks Persuasive Paragraph Strong Don't Burn Leaves Persuasive Paragraph Good The Ginkgo Trees Persuasive Paragraph Okay Turn Your Lights Off Persuasive Paragraph Poor
- When I Got Burned on Dad’s Motorcycle Personal Narrative Strong My First Home Run Personal Narrative Good My Worst Scrape Personal Narrative Okay The Trip to the Woods Personal Narrative Poor
- Soggy Roads Personal Narrative Strong The Broken Statue Personal Narrative Good Space Monster Personal Narrative Okay Las Vegas Personal Narrative Poor
- A Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World Book Review Strong A Letter of Recommendation Book Review Good Falling Up Book Review Okay The Cat Ate My Gymsuit Book Review Poor
- The Year Mom Won the Pennant Book Review Strong A Story of Survival Book Review Good Keep Reading! Book Review Okay Homecoming Book Review Poor
- The Platypus Report Strong The Click Beetle Report Good Martin Luther King, Junior’s Dream Report Okay Crickets and Grasshoppers Report Poor
- The Snow Leopard Report Strong The Great Pyramid of Giza Report Good Koalas Report Okay Ladybugs Report Poor
- Help Save Our Manatees Persuasive Essay Strong A Fictional Letter to President Lincoln Persuasive Essay Good Endangered Animals Persuasive Essay Okay Why Smog Is Bad Persuasive Essay Poor
- Talent Show and Tell Persuasive Essay Strong Art Every Day Persuasive Essay Good More Recess, Please Persuasive Essay Okay Let Us Eat Persuasive Essay Poor
- Something You Can Sink Your Teeth Into Explanatory Essay Strong Bathing a Puppy Explanatory Essay Good Trading Places Explanatory Essay Okay Fluffy Explanatory Essay Poor
- Food from the Ocean Explanatory Essay Strong How to Make a S’More Explanatory Essay Good The Person I Want to Be Explanatory Essay Okay Sleepover Explanatory Essay Poor
- Departure Personal Narrative Strong A January Surprise Personal Narrative Good A Day I'll Never Forget Personal Narrative Okay My Summer in Jacksonville, Florida Personal Narrative Poor
- Puppy Personal Narrative Strong A New Friend Personal Narrative Good My Summer in Michigan Personal Narrative Okay A Horrible Day Personal Narrative Poor
- Dear Mr. Rhys Biography Strong Turning 13 Biography Good My Resident Edith Biography Okay Police Officer Biography Poor
- Iron Summary (Strong) Summary Strong Iron Summary (Good) Summary Good Iron Summary (Okay) Summary Okay Iron Summary (Poor) Summary Poor
- Paper Recycling Explanatory Essay Strong Letter to France Explanatory Essay Good I Have a Dream . . . Too Explanatory Essay Okay Fire Fighter Explanatory Essay Poor
- Mount Rushmore’s Famous Faces Explanatory Essay Strong Youth Movements in Nazi Germany Explanatory Essay Good My Personal Values Explanatory Essay Okay The Influence of Gangs in Our Community Explanatory Essay Poor
- Malcolm X and Eleanor Roosevelt Comparison-Contrast Strong How to Make Tabouli Comparison-Contrast Good Yo-Yo’s Flood Del Mar Hills School Comparison-Contrast Okay The Gail Woodpecker Comparison-Contrast Poor
- Railroad to Freedom Book Review Strong If I Were Anne Frank Book Review Good To Kill a Mockingbird Book Review Okay Good Brother or Bad Brother? Book Review Poor
- The Power of Water Book Review Strong Summary Review: Arranging a Marriage Book Review Good Freaky Friday Book Review Okay No Friend of Mine Book Review Poor
- The Aloha State Research Report Strong Tornadoes Research Report Good Earthquakes Research Report Okay The Bombing of Peal Harbor Research Report Poor
- Wilma Mankiller: Good Times and Bad Research Report Strong Green Anaconda Research Report Good The Great Pyramid Research Report Okay Poodles Research Report Poor
- Using Hydrochloric Acid (Strong) Instructions Strong Using Hydrochloric Acid (Good) Instructions Good Using Hydrochloric Acid (Okay) Instructions Okay Using Hydrochloric Acid (Poor) Instructions Poor
- Dear Dr. Larson (Strong) Persuasive Letter Strong Dear Dr. Larson (Good) Persuasive Letter Good Dear Dr. Larson (Okay) Persuasive Letter Okay Dear Dr. Larson (Poor) Persuasive Letter Poor
- Smoking in Restaurants Persuasive Essay Strong Letter to the Editor (Arts) Persuasive Essay Good Toilet-to-Tap Water Persuasive Essay Okay The Unperminent Hair Dye Rule Persuasive Essay Poor
- Capital Punishment Is Wrong! Persuasive Essay Strong Letter to the Editor (Cheating) Persuasive Essay Good Letter to the Editor (Immigration) Persuasive Essay Okay Judge Not Persuasive Essay Poor
- Revisiting Seneca Falls Research Report Strong The Importance of Cinco de Mayo Research Report Good The Meaning of Juneteenth Research Report Okay Russian Missile Problem Research Report Poor
- Dear Ms. Holloway Business Letter Strong Dear Mr. McNulty Business Letter Good Dear Mr. Underwood Business Letter Okay Dear Mrs. Jay Business Letter Poor
- Scout Takes Another Look Literary Analysis Strong Rocket Boys: A Memoir Literary Analysis Good A Wrinkle in Time Literary Analysis Okay Being True to Yourself: The Call of the Wild Literary Analysis Poor
- Evening the Odds Argument Essay Strong Lack of Respect a Growing Problem Argument Essay Good The Right to Dress Argument Essay Okay Grading Students on Effort Argument Essay Poor
- Sinking the Unsinkable Explanatory Essay Strong The Best Preventive Medicine Explanatory Essay Good The Ozone Layer Explanatory Essay Okay Measurement Explanatory Essay Poor
- Isn't It Romantic? Definition Strong Good and Angry Definition Good Unsung Heroes Definition Okay Love Definition Poor
- People Power Personal Narrative Strong It's a Boy Personal Narrative Good A Senior Moment Personal Narrative Okay A Big Family Wedding Personal Narrative Poor
- Understanding Hmong Americans MLA Research Paper Strong Hmong: From Allies to Neighbors MLA Research Paper Good Welcome the Hmong to America MLA Research Paper Okay Hmong People MLA Research Paper Poor
Narrative Writing, Creative Writing
- Putin Meddles in U.S. Casseroles Satirical News Story Strong Cabinet Secretaries Now Cabinet Office Assistants Satirical News Story Good Area Man Teaches Ways to Check for B.O. Satirical News Story Okay Global Warming Is Weather-Dependent Satirical News Story Poor
- Poverty and Race as Predictors in the 2016 Presidential Election Statistical Analysis Strong Poverty and Race in the 2016 Election Statistical Analysis Good AP Stats Project Statistical Analysis Okay Stats Analysis Statistical Analysis Poor
- Renewable and Carbon-Neutral Problem-Solution Strong The Ethanol Revolution Problem-Solution Good Growing Energy Problem-Solution Okay Corn for the Future Problem-Solution Poor
- Generations of America Speech Strong Inauguration Speech of the 49th U.S. President Speech Good The Greatest Inauguration Speech Speech Okay What I Will Do for This Country Speech Poor
- True Leadership Personal Essay Strong A Thing of Beauty Personal Essay Good How I Will Contribute to College Personal Essay Okay What Education Means Personal Essay Poor
- Setting in Crane and O'Connor Literary Analysis Strong The Scouring of the Shire Literary Analysis Good Setting in Calvin and Hobbes Literary Analysis Okay On Golden Pond Literary Analysis Poor
- Jane Eyre and the Perils of Sacrifice Literary Analysis Strong Mrs. Reed as a Tragic Figure Literary Analysis Good A Lack of Love Literary Analysis Okay Bad Choices, Bad Results Literary Analysis Poor
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Writing is a complex process that requires a wide range of skills — a strong vocabulary; an understanding of genre, text structure, and voice; basic mechanical skills (grammar and punctuation); organizational skills; and higher order thinking.
On this page:
More on writing, featured video.
A child’s writing development parallels the child’s development as a reader. Part of early print awareness is the realization that writing can be created with everyday tools such as pens, pencils, crayons, and markers. Children begin to imitate the writing that they see in the environment. What often starts as scribbling ends up being important clues to a child’s understanding that print carries meaning.
As with reading skills, writing grows through explicit instruction . Writing is a skill with rules and structures. Across multiple grade levels, good writers are created through systematic, explicit instruction, combined with many opportunities to write and receive feedback.
Writing may be the most complex process that we expect our students to learn.
To write well, students need to develop a broad set of skills
Basic writing skill.
These include spelling, capitalization, punctuation, handwriting/keyboarding, and sentence structure (e.g., elimination of run-ons and sentence fragments). Basic writing skills are sometimes termed “mechanics” of writing.
Text generation involves translating one’s thoughts into language, what might be thought of as the “content” of writing. Text generation includes word choice ( vocabulary ), elaboration of detail, and clarity of expression.
Especially beyond the earliest grades, good writing involves planning, revising , and editing one’s work. These processes are extremely important to success in writing, and increasingly so as students advance into the middle and secondary grades.
Writing knowledge includes an understanding of discourse and genre — for example, understanding that a narrative is organized differently than an informational text . Another example of writing knowledge includes writing for an audience, that is, the writer’s understanding of the need to convey meaning clearly and appropriately to the people who will be reading a particular piece of writing.
In the Classroom
Looking at Writing
Launching Young Readers
Writing and Spelling
Reading 101 Learning Modules
Reading 101: A Guide for Parents
Reading 101 for Parents: Writing Basics
Reading and Writing SOS
Reading and Writing SOS: Writing
Apps for Literacy and Learning
Narrator : At Springhill Lake Elementary in Greenbelt, Maryland, a class of third graders is living in a real fantasy world.
Aracely : There’s a big castle and you can hear birds singing and you can only drive limos.
Narrator : In actuality these students are getting a very grounded education in writing thanks to their teacher Ms. Sterkin.
Sterkin : It was little scary at first to teach writing because of all the different layers that go into writing. There’s mechanics, and ideas, and purpose, and audience, and genre, and then on top of that, you want them to be able to express themselves in a really interesting way for their readers. But every single year, I learn something new to help them to just keep layering their skill level in writing.
Narrator : Ms. Sterkin set a solid base for this scaffolding by creating a classroom environment where writing is fully integrated into the day.
Graham : When you take a look at elementary schools and the state of writing instruction, there’s two things that stand out. One, there’s very little writing going on by kids. Second, there’s very little instruction writing going on.
Sterkin : Okay, you can begin.
Narrator : Ms. Sterkin is determined to make sure her class is an exception. For example, to keep her students writing every day, Ms. Sterkin had each of them create a writers notebook. In it, they can brainstorm and draft ideas, which they can then share with the class.
Student : The house is red and white. Outside is quiet and peaceful.
Sterkin : The first week of school, we start with their own writer’s notebooks. We talk about the kind of space they need as a writer. We talk about the tools. And we also give them a lot of time to share, so that they’re comfortable sharing their writing and when it’s time for them to go through the revision process, they know that they’re able to share in a way that isn’t really scary for them.
Sterkin : Yes. What are some things you like about Mohammed’s details? What’d you like, Daira?
Daira : That it smells like strawberry and flowers.
Sterkin : Yeah. Wasn’t that a really good detail. It really helped us visualize with our five senses what it’s like there. Nina, what did you like about Mohammed’s?
Nina : I like about Mohammed’s that he kinda added a little bit part of poetry.
Narrator : And it’s not just the students who take part.
Christian : Ms. Sterkin, would you like to share?
Sterkin : Yes, Christian, I’d love to, thanks.
Narrator : Writing teachers need to see themselves as writers too.
Rogers : Teachers of writing must write. You have to be confronting both the satisfactions and the challenges of the writers task and then modeling that for your students. Being willing to show them a piece of writing that you have to fix and revise. You can’t just be one who assigns and grades.
Sterkin : Shimmering purple trails, led me to the journey to his kingdom. I might have to re-read that and make it sound a little better. With each step I took, purple sparkles swiftly scooted from beneath my feet. Swiftly scooted. That’s right. And what is it when I add two words together with the same beginning sound?
Student : Alliteration!
Sterkin : Alliteration. Good job.
Narrator : Besides creating regular writing opportunities for students, this workshopping provides a chance for them to give and receive feedback effectively .
Sterkin : I think the students cheer for each other because we would cheer for them when they share their own writing. And when we start in the beginning of the year, we would specifically find examples in the students writing that they should be proud of. And then we would invite the other students and specifically ask them, “what are some things you noticed in this person’s writing that you really think they did a great job on” and ” what are some of the things that maybe you can suggest that would make it more interesting as a reader”?
Narrator : After Ms. Sterkin’s class, these particular entries also acted as a pre-writing exercise for their unit on fairytales.
Sterkin : Okay, let’s talk about what we’re going to do today. Today we’re going to start writing our fairytales. And before we write our fairytale, we’re going to talk a little bit about what some really good writers do. We had some awesome examples of good writers in the last couple of days.
Narrator : Ms. Sterkin is referring to her use of mentor texts, which are pieces of writing whose idea, structure, or written craft can be used to inspire students own writing.
Sterkin : And we’re also going to read a story today called Crickwing . And it’s not a fairytale, but the author did something really special in that book that made the story sound exciting when we read it. And it helped us visualize what the characters in the story were doing. So we’re going to see what special trick that author used and we’re going to see if we can use it today in our fairytale writing too.
Hansen : The ideal way to look at the notion of mentor texts is that children, as readers, are noticing what they can use as writers., and finding mentor text that work for them.
Rogers : So it’s not just saying here’s a model text, everyone be Shakespeare. Here’s the perfect text — imitate it.
Student : Vivid.
Sterkin : Vivid verbs. When something is vivid, it’s really easy for us to see. So when we have a vivid verb, it’s easy for us to visualize it in our head. And in this story, Janell Cannon used a lot of vivid verbs. Tons of vivid verbs. I don’t think she used a whole lot of plain verbs. All of them are so easy for us to visualize in our head when we read her story. So, as we read, if you hear a vivid verb, I’d like you to hold up “V.” What is “V” for?
Students : Vivid verbs.
Sterkin : “Far below the great forest canopy lies a shadowy world that many insects call home. Among the damp clutter of fallen leaves and branches, leaf-cutting ants toil all day while large cockroaches await their evening search for food.” What did you hear? Nico, what did you hear?
Nico : Toil.
Sterkin : Toil. So if they’re toiling, what are they doing?
Students : Working hard.
Sterkin : Working really hard. Yes. We toil all day. “Pow! Swoosh! A sharp-eyed monkey clobbered Crickwing and swiped his sculpture.” What did we hear?
Students : Swiped.
Sterkin : Swiped. So if he swiped his sculpture, that means he did what?
Students : Took it.
Sterkin : He took it, but it didn’t just say he took it. How did he do that?
Sterkin : What does it look like if you swiped it? I see you’re all moving with your arms very quickly. When you swipe something… She swiped it from me! Go ahead. Swipe it. She swiped the word swipe. Do it again so everybody can see. Swipe it. She did it fast. So we know that monkey was moving how?
Students : Fast.
Sterkin : Why do you think Jannell Cannon decided to use these special vivid verbs instead of plain old verbs?
Student : I think when she used vivid verbs, so her story, so it like, makes the story more interesting.
Sterkin : It sure does. Wasn’t the story more interesting when we can visualize the special way the character moved or felt.
Students : Yes.
Sterkin : Yeah. And now, at this point, we’re such good writers that we want our readers to be interested in the story just like you are interested in listening to Janell Cannon’s story. So we’re going to try to put some vivid verbs in our fairytales that we write today.
Narrator : Ms. Sterkin follows up the whole class work with more explicit instruction, in small groups. This gives Ms. Sterkin a chance to assess the students’ understanding of vivid verbs, while the students get a chance to practice with the text in a more intimate setting.
Sterkin : “I can’t do this, Eartha blurted as last.” If you blurt something out, what does it sound like?
Student : I can’t do this anymore! That’s exactly why I visualized that.
Sterkin : Perfect. If I say, in the classroom, Tylere blurted out the answer, what does it mean?
Student : Shout.
Student : Two!
Sterkin : What do you think?
Student : He just screams it out.
Sterkin : He just screams it out. So if Eartha blurted out “I can’t do this anymore,” what does she do?
Students : I can’t do this anymore!
Student : Like…just talk, talk.
Sterkin : Do you want me to keep talking? Are you the director now? Okay. So we’re talking about the word…
Student : Stop!
Sterkin : Ah! So, she blurts it, like and interruption.
Student : Yeah.
Sterkin : Good thinking. So, if she had just used the word “said” in the story, we would no visualize that she interrupted, but since she used that word “blurted”…That was a perfect reenactment of the word “blurted.” She interrupted us. I’d like you to read the rest of it by yourself. And I’d like you to find your vivid verbs just like we did together, and circle them, or you could put “VV’s” on them. And then I’d like you to find one that you think is a really beautiful example of how that vivid verb helped you make an inference about the character.
Narrator : Ms. Sterkin is giving the students multiple chances to work with this new material and varying her lessons between whole class, small groups, and individual instruction.
Sterkin : Did you find the one that you really feel like was a good example of a vivid verb?
Student : Quavered.
Sterkin : Quavered. You like that? So why do you like that one?
Student : Because, it’s like “shuttered.” And then this one is almost like this one.
Sterkin : So, what does it help you infer about that character?
Student : Maybe this one was nervous, maybe he’s nervous.
Sterkin : Mmm hmm. Yeah. Did they have something to be nervous about? Student: Yeah.
Sterkin: Yeah, they do. So it’s a great way to help us visualize how the characters are feeling without just saying they felt nervous. It doesn’t even say the word nervous in there does it? But because she used special words, we can make these inferences by ourself, as a reader.
Narrator : For Ms. Sterkin, success with writing means creating a respectful community of writers.
Sterkin : I make sure I take the time to listen to listen to their concerns and make sure that, they feel like when I’m talking to them about their work that I’m not really criticizing what they’re doing, but that I’m there to help them. That we’re here to help each other. I learn from their ideas. I can take what they’re doing and share it with the rest of the class because they might have an idea that’s better than mine. And to do that frequently, so they know that this is just not, like, a one woman show in my classroom. We’re all learning together and helping each other.
Student : It doesn’t have “they lived happily ever after.”
Sterkin : Classic fairytale line, right? Yep. Let’s see.
Narrator: Today, writing doesn’t have to mean putting pen to paper
Narrator: It can mean putting finger to screen .
Student: “T” for text.
Sterkin: Springhill Lake was lucky enough to receive a grant for iPads. We’ve been using the iPads a lot to organize their thoughts and even different applications, or apps, in the content areas that just get them excited to learn. So the use of the iPads has not only been helpful for the students to acquire knowledge, but just as a general tool for engagement.
Narrator: Technology is an integrated part of the modern classroom.
Narrator: And one of Ms. Sterkin’s goals is to show her students how they can effect social change through their writing. Technology can help them craft and share their ideas.
Sterkin: and I’d like to share with you some really cool ideas I found in this book. “If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn. If you want ten years of prosperity, plant trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.” What do you think that might mean? What do you think, Jasmine.
Jasmine: Educate people. That means make people that they have to save the earth and not pollute it.
Sterkin: If I plant one little tree, that’s great, right? What if I share that information with everybody in this classroom. And then what if Jasmine and Mohammed and Lavontay and Symiah and Dennilson and everybody else in this classroom — what if you all told people to plant trees. Then what would happen?
Sterkin: More trees. And say that again.
Lavontay: And then they tell people. And the other people tell people and it goes on and on.
Student: And then there would be more trees. And even when they cut it down we can plant more and more.
Sterkin: Exactly. There’ll be more and more and more. So if we keep teaching people these important ideas, then everybody will learn what we really need to do to help our earth, won’t they?
Narrator: Ms. Sterkin’s students learned about natural resources in science. Now she’s asking them to incorporate what they learned into their fairy tale drafts.
Sterkin: Once the students are immersed in content, they have a lot more to say and they have a knowledge base to write. We’re always encouraging the students to integrate the content and knowledge that they’ve gained in the classroom in to their own writing.
Sterkin: All righty. We’re going to show you how to make a popplet, which is a cool way to organize some of your ideas. And then you’re going to make a popplet…
Student: Like a web.
Sterkin: Yes, like a web. That will help you with your fairy tale writing and help you teach your readers…
Sterkin: It’s okay. (laugh) About the environment.
Narrator: For writers, understanding the purpose and audience of a piece is essential.
Harris: If you don’t have a clear understanding of why you’re writing and what your goals are and how those goals involve the reader — do you want to effect their emotions? Do you want them to learn? — if you don’t have a clear concept, you can’t set the goals that will guide you through the writing process and the writing tasks in front of you.
Sterkin: Okay. I want you to think back to your fairy tale. On your iPad, I’d like you to do a double-tap two times and you should have your first popple come up.
Student: Push “t”.
Sterkin: Say it again.
Student: Push “t”!
Sterkin: Push “t” for text. In the middle of your popple, I’d like you to type your natural resource. So if your natural resource was water, type in water. If it was trees — your welcome — type in trees. Ms. Schnupp and I made an example of what yours will look like. And you notice that we have some special colors here. You’re going to put some special colors on your popples too. We have a natural resource and ours is oil. We have two blue boxes, because in those blue boxes you’re going to write a cool fact about that natural resource. So a cool fact that I know about oil is that oil is used to make plastic. So I would type in my box, for cool fact, that oil is used to make plastic. I also have two red boxes. What word do you notice in the red box?
Sterkin: Problem. We also know this word from when we write a story. Our story has a problem. This is your chance to brainstorm some really good problems in your story. Maybe in my story, somebody, maybe the villain, spilled oil in the oceans. That would a problem. So I’m going to jot that down in my problem box, “spill oil in the ocean.” Think about the cause and effect of what would happen if we harmed those natural resources. In the green box, what special word do you see here.
Sterkin: Setting. And in this box we really what to know, where is this natural resource in your setting. I know that Christian’s setting is on a pirate ship in the Atlantic Ocean and his natural resource is air. Am I right?
Sterkin: When we’re planning the lessons we don’t focus the lesson solely around using the iPad. We want to use that as a tool to enhance the students’ learning.
Sterkin: So when you’re done you’re going to have a popple that’s actually not only going to have some cool science ideas on it about your natural resources, but it’s also going to help you with your story writing. Because we’ll have some problems we can look at to include your natural resource in the story. And you might also have some really cool facts that you can include in your story as well.
Rogers: One way to think about the goals of writing for young children is to think about it in terms of both the cognitive and the social. There’s the familiarity with language and structure and parts of speech, but there’s also a social dimension of writing that we really need to emphasize. Because why do children engage with writing? They engage with writing because it gives them positive interactions with adults and with peers.
Sterkin: So what else do you think is another problem that we would have with our water natural resource?
Student: Um. It gets polluted.
Sterkin: Okay. So how could water get polluted?
Student: By throwing trash in the water?
Student: Okay, so who might throw trash in the water to pollute water?
Sterkin: Okay. So people throw trash in to the water and it pollutes the water. What is the effect of that?
Student: An animal would die.
Sterkin: So animals could get harmed? Okay.
Student: Let me do that.
Sterkin: The growth that the students have made this year is just…it’s just so much to take in because they’re so proud of the work that they’ve done. We’ve tried new things that I’ve never done before and that they’ve never done before. And together we’re learning how all of these pieces take shape.
Shana : So boys and girls we have a new featured author. Her name is Erica Perl.
Narrator: Featuring an author on a class bulletin board is great.
Shana : Let’s share this book today called Dotty that she wrote.
Narrator: Enjoying one of her books together is even better.
Shana : Thirteen, she silently added. Whose nose did she want to count?
Students : Dotty’s
Shana : Dotty’s
Narrator: Meeting her in person…
Students : Ooh!
Shana : Our featured author’s here!
Narrator: Author visits may seem like just fun and games but they can have a major impact on students.
Rogers : Students will sit in rapt attention listening, engaging, asking questions and if that author will talk to those students as fellow writers, it is so affirming.
Erica : I thought that we could read Dotty together and I could tell you a little bit about kinda how I wrote it. And I could hear about the kind of stuff you guys are writing. Maybe we could even do some writing together. What do you think?
Erica : Now, everyone here brought their imagination today right?
Erica : Good
Boy : I forgot mines at home.
Students : (laughing)
Erica : You left your imagination at home. That’s not good. You’re going to have to go get it right now.
Narrator: Reading aloud to students engages them with the written word and gets them excited about books.
Erica : So when Ida started school, she took her new lunchbox, and…
Students : Dotty.
Erica : I am a huge fan of reading aloud and I really believe that it should be the most fun part of a teacher or a parent’s day.
Erica : Ahhh!
Erica : Because if you’re enjoying it, the kids will enjoy it. So I think getting excited about the books that you’re sharing, getting silly with them, I think that all hugely important.
Erica : Say it all together. Ready?
Students : Wham!
Narrator: Writing can seem a daunting task to students. And while teachers can offer a lot of guidance, instruction, and practice, a published author has real-world weight behind her words.
Erica : Because they all start with an idea, right? And so, in the case of Dotty , when I was growing up I had all these friends. Right? Friends, just like you guys. Alright. But, I also had some friends who not everybody else could see. What do you think is a good thing about seeing something nobody else can see?
Girl : You have real friends, but some kids make fun of you, that you don’t have friends but you really do.
Erica : And your imaginary friends, would they ever make fun of you?
Eric : No way.
Erica : When I go and talk to kids about writing. I always tell them that the thing about writing fiction, is that it has to have a truth in it. It has to have an emotional truth. And so, for me, in every book that I write, there’s an emotional truth that comes from my life and my experience. And so, with Dotty, the story of having an imaginary friend was a story that I could relate to when I look back on my own experience as a kid.
Erica : I would always worry that if people knew about Dotty they would say “Oh my goodness. Have you heard about Erica? Bah ha ha.” And they would laugh. So, I didn’t tell people, but I always wrote my ideas down, or I drew them. So, this is sort of a storyboard, of the story of Dotty. And as you can see, I drew these little sketches like here’s Ida here. She’s walking to school. And then, there’s Dotty who still looks sort of like a goat.
Narrator: Erica is showing the students that there are many ways to start writing and they don’t always involve using words.
Erica : So, I started drawing the class, and drawing my ideas out because sometimes that’s how I get my ideas flowing. And then, usually I write the words down in one of my journals. Do you guys do this? Raise your hand if you do this. Do you guys write stuff down just in writer’s notebooks? Because, my idea’s if you don’t write it down it kind of flutters away. But I don’t just write stories in it and I like it to get good and messy.
Narrator: The writer’s notebook is a great tool for encouraging daily writing from students. Keeping it free from grading, and the red ink of a correction pen, helps students see it as a pressure-free outlet for their ideas.
Erica : And then, sometimes I will get on the computer. Raise your hand if you ever get on the computer and do some writing there. Yep. And I start taking my ideas and putting them onto paper on the computer. And then I go through and change things, little things here and there. I revise it. Do you guys revise? Okay. Yes?
Students : Yes!
Erica : Yes! Good! Because if your revising, you’re writers. That’s a huge part of the writing process. You don’t just show up day one and write and you’re done.
Narrator: Revising can be one of the trickiest things for students to understand, but it’s also one of the most important steps in the writing process. Learning that a professional writer has to revise, often multiple times, is a terrific learning experience for young writers. Not even professional, adult authors are perfect!
Erica : ‘Cause I never get it just the way I want it the first time, and so I start kinda changing it around. So I go through it a million zillion times changing ideas. And you’ll see that some of these things ended up in Dotty and some of them didn’t. And I also read it out loud to kids.
Narrator: A key component to the revising process is peer editing. Once the students understand how to give constructive feedback, sharing their work with each other will result in stronger writing and more confident writers. And this is a message Erica is happy to underscore.
Erica : Sometimes I talk to my grown up writer friends and sometimes I talk to my kid writer friends, and we all talk about how the story can get better. Like a big collaboration. Do you guys do that? Do you share your work with each other?
Erica : Again another important part of the writing process, is sharing your work. So now we’re going to make a story together!
Students : Yay!
Erica : Yay! Okay.
Narrator: Group writing a story with students is a great way to have fun, while checking their understanding of story elements.
Erica : What does a story need to have? Yes!
Boy : Characters!
Erica : Characters! Characters! Okay. So, we gotta have some characters! Okay. What else?
Student : Words
Erica : Characters.
Boy : Setting!
Erica : And setting okay.
Erica : We’re going to put.
Student : Plot
Erica : Plot. What does plot mean?
Students : Beginning, middle, and end.
Erica : Beginning, middle, and end. Everybody give me some beginning, middle, and end.
All : Beginning, middle, and end.
Erica : Yeah! Okay, plot.
Student : The theme.
Erica : Theme, okay What does theme mean?
Student : Um. What it’s all about.
Student : Oh, the message.
Erica : The message. What has to happen in the middle? Something that has to happen in
the middle of the story. To make it dramatic. Or surprising!
Student : Drama!
Erica : Drama, would be good. Yeah.
Student : Problem.
Erica : Some sort of…thank you.! Say that again.
Student : Problem
Erica : Problem! We have to have a problem.
Student : And solution!
Erica : And solution!
Narrator: Erica is going to keep the class active by having each student represent an element of the story.
Erica : Okay. Okay, I’m going to need two people to be the characters.
Students : Me! Me!
Erica : Okay. You and you.
Student : A baby with giant diapers!
Erica : A baby with giant diapers. No, no, no, no.
Student 2 : Superman.
Erica : Superman. Okay we got Superman and?
Student 3 : a princess
Erica : And a princess! Superman and a princess. Excellent. Okay.
Erica: Setting. Where are you guys going to be?
Student 4 : I want to be the tree.
Erica : You’re a tree. Good. So, we’re sort of outdoors.
Student 5 : I want to be the boy.
Erica : A boy?
Student 4 : Maybe a guard.
Erica : A guard? Like a castle guard?
Student 5 : Like a castle
Erica : Castle guard and tree.
Erica : Who’s going to be our problem? You two are going to be our problem. Come up here problems. What are the problems? Two problems.
Student 2 : A giant monster is going to attack the city.
Erica : A giant monster is a pretty good problem. Do you guys want to be a giant monster?
Student 6 : Yeah.
Student 7 : Okay.
Erica : Okay. Good. We’ve got a giant monster and a castle in the woods. Let me just put giant monster behind you.
Erica : What’s our theme going to be?
Student 1 : If you’re mean to someone, then someone will be mean to you.
Student 2 : When you help other people, they might help you back.
Erica : Those kinda fit together. What do you guys think?
Erica : It’s sort of like two sides to the same coin.
Student narrator : Once upon a time in a land far, far, away. There was a queen in a castle and her mother. And then, there was this green, ugly, smelly, one-eyed monster.
Erica : Let’s pause for a second, so we can see that. We’ve got the princess and the queen. Right here.
Erica : Look at the monster. Where’s the monster? There’s the monster! Let’s see some monstering.
Student monster : Grrrrr!
Erica : Good good good. Okay. Okay. Now.
Student narrator : The guard’s Omar. He came in. He tried to stop the monster, but the monster was too big and too strong.
Erica : Okay. We’ve got conflict going on, clearly the monster is having a conflict with the guard. Let’s see where we are so far. Are we at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the story?
Narrator: Erica pauses the story, because while the students are enthusiastic and engaged, it’s important to make sure that they also understand the story elements they’re acting out.
Erica : We’ve got the beginning, right? We’ve got the middle. Problem. How are we going to end it? How are we going to resolve this? And let’s remember — what’s our theme? Who said our theme so beautifully? You, said our theme so beautifully. Say it again.
Student 1 : When you help somebody, when you’re nice to somebody, then someone will be nice back.
Erica : Will be nice back.
Student 4 : I think the monster has to be nice because Superman takes the thorn out.
Erica : Okay, Let’s see that part acted out.
Student narrator : The monster attacked.
Student monster: Grrrr…
Erica : Superman. Superman, go help. Where’s the thorn. Who’s being the thorn. There you go. Good. Very good thorn removing. Excellent.
Student narrator : Can we — when he starts fighting. He just thinks why is he fighting? And then he puts his foot up and he sees it.
Erica : Oh, that’s good. That’s very good. So you discover it. Okay. So you discover the thorn. Thorn, in position.
Erica : Okay. And you discover that there’s a thorn in his tentacle! So, superman pulls the thorn from the tentacle! Okay. And then the monster says?
Students : Ahhhh!
Erica : Thank you! Awesome! That was really good. And then the princess and queen say?
Student princess and student queen : Oh, you’re my hero.
Erica : And how does the story end?
Student : And everyone lives happily ever after!
Girl : Superman and the princess get married!
Students : Yeah!
Erica : How about. How about they all…
Student : Live happily ever after.
Erica : …have friends and eat imaginary ice cream cones together.
Students : Yeah.
Erica : Yeah! And then they dance. And now, can everybody give me a nice “the end” bow? Ready? One, Two, Three. The End.
Student : For now.
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20 Creative Writing Activities for Elementary Students
- November 23, 2021
Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? While your young learners are probably not ready to write an entire book, this month is a great time to practice creative writing skills with your students. Not only can creative writing be helpful for teaching vocabulary and sentence structure, but it can also encourage students to use imaginative thinkin g —and even find a genuine love of writing!
All of these 20 creative writing activities can be used with elementary school students to practice reading and writing skills. We’ve included options for both early elementary students, who may still be learning to write, and elementary students in upper grades who are ready to work on projects of their choosing.
1. Join the NaNoWriMo organization’s Young Writers Program (YWP) ! Together, your students can work on all sorts of age-appropriate writing challenges and activities throughout the year—including a project of their choice in November!
2. To practice pre-writing skills and collaborating on a project, try these shared writing project activities .
3. If you have any budding cartoonists in your class, this Finish the Comic activity from author Jarrett Lerner can be a great way for younger students to practice writing dialogue.
4. Teach your students about adjectives and writing descriptions with this Popcorn Adjectives activity .
5. Students can learn about creative writing by studying imagery and poetry by established authors. Using this writing worksheet , kids can write out their thoughts about a poem and draw images that stand out to them.
6. To teach creative thinking skills with kindergarteners and early elementary students, try this Mystery Seed writing activity .
7. Get families involved, too! Share these fun home writing activities with your student’s families to help them practice at home.
8. Print out and put together a Writing Jar with tons of creative writing prompts to inspire your students.
9. Check out this resource for even more writing prompts focused on imaginative thinking.
10. Try blackout poetry , an activity that encourages students to make their own beautiful art from a work that already exists.
11. Creative writing isn’t limited to fiction. This narrative writing activity can teach students to write events clearly and in sequence from their real life.
12. For a creative writing project that’s just plain fun, try this Roll a Story activity.
13. This nonfiction project helps children learn to write a letter as they write to a loved one of their choice.
14. If you want to give your students some freedom in choosing a writing assignment, hang up this Writing Prompt Choice Board in your classroom and let them answer whichever prompt they’d like!
15. Encourage students to keep their own journal throughout the year. You could even give them time each morning to respond to a journal prompt .
16. Use this journal page template to help students structure and compile journal entries.
17. These printable Mad Libs can teach children different parts of a sentence while they use their imaginations to create a story.
18. Use this What? So What? Now What? exercise (#6 at the link) to help students structure their creative writing projects.
19. To teach children how to create descriptive sentences, play this Show, Don’t Tell writing activity .
20. If you’d like to hold a month-long creative writing activity, try this 30-Day Writing Challenge for kids .
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A Dab of Glue Will Do
Little Learners, Big Ideas
PS PK K 1 2
Best Writing Teaching Tools for Little Learners
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I have always loved teaching writing to my students! It’s a skill I know they will use for their entire life and it’s so important to help develop good writing skills at an early age. That’s why I created this list of the best writing teaching tools for little learners .
Teaching writing can be so much fun with these games and materials. Use them to spark creativity and in your writing centers for your students to practice their writing skills. Here are the best writing teaching tools for your little learners. To see all of our favorite BEST TEACHING TOOLS post, click here .
This magnetic writing board, the VTech Write and Learn Creative Center has an added bonus of interactive games and guides to help children learn to write letters!
The Boogie Board is a compact LCD writing board that allows children to create and then erase at the touch of a button! Great for car trips.
Great for boosting sequencing and writing skills, Sequence & Write Story Tiles are a great addition to your kindergartener’s learning toy collection.
Another toy that is small enough to take when traveling, Melissa & Doug On the Go Scratch Art: ABC & 123 Writing Pad has pages of letters and numbers that children can trace.
The Capital Letters Dry Erase Book from Mead offers structured writing practice similar to what your child would do in school. A great tool to have at home when extra practice is needed, or to help your child get ahead.
Get them a marker board just like they use in class! Crayola Dry Erase Go Anywhere Washable Marker Board set is small for little hands and has endless possibilities as a learning tool. Use it to practice writing letters, numbers, words, or sentences.
Kids will love practicing their writing skills with Kidsthrill Doodle Magnetic Drawing Board ! It comes with three shaped magnets for added fun when drawing too.
Colored pencils make writing extra fun! These Crayola 8ct Write Start Colored Pencils are shaped for to be easy to hold correctly and have thick lead so they won’t break for early writers who may press too hard.
Pop some Mini Pencil Grips in your child’s stocking this holiday! These help improve pencil grip and set the stage for a lifetime of comfortable writing.
Check out this Printing Workbook for grades K – 2. Kids can practice their penmanship with upper and lower case letters with the full color activity pages.
Kids will have fun practicing their writing skills with Playskool ABC Learn To Letter Pad and it’s included letter and number charts. Lined paper helps children create their letters properly.
This box of 26 activity cards will keep kids occupied with learning play for hours! Key Education Pre-Printing Practice box is a great value, as each card can be reused multiple time.
Using Edu-Toys Magnetic Writing Board is a different way to practice letter writing. Kids use the included stylus to bring metal beads to the surface of the board. Fun for all ages!
A make your own journal kit for preschool and kindergarten students, the Determination Journal Kit with Prompts is a fun activity to work on with your child. This journal is a great tool for helping your young child build her emotional vocabulary.
Keep a stack Double-Lined Wide Notebook Paper on hand for your learning writer! Designed for use with the “writing without tears” system used in many elementary schools.
The LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System is a workbook with a pen that talks to your child! Kids will love tracing the letters and words and hearing them read aloud in real time. Great for those times that you aren’t able to sit with your child while they learn.
Geared toward ages 5-7, the Draw & Write Children’s Journal encourages open-ended writing to boost creativity and thoughtful story writing.
With 25 different templates that slide under a clear dry erase surface, Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center helps kids practice writing, numbers, logic games, and more! Print out your own activities to use as well. This set comes with markers too!
Smencils are one of my kids’ favorite writing tools. They are regular pencils that come in their own special tube, and each has a different scent! Collect all the flavors!
Anyone learning how to use a pencil will also need to learn how to use an eraser! These Animal Pencil Erasers are adorable and fun to use.
I hope that you enjoyed these writing teaching tools and can find something for you to add to your classroom or home. Do you have any favorite writing teaching tools that are not on this list? If so, please share. I am always adding new gadgets to the list.
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40 Fun Writing Tools for Kids
By: Author Sara McClure
Posted on Last updated: May 31, 2018
Categories Homeschool Tips & Tricks , Kids Activities , Writing
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When I was a kid I loved writing with fancy pens and paper. Oh, who am I kidding, I still do. Kids are the same way. Fun writing tools for kids make writing more desirable. Kids will choose the cool writing tools 9 times out of 10. Think about it. Why do you think Crayola has a ton of crayon options? 64 count crayons in a special box with a sharpener. Neon crayons. Silly scents twistable crayons. The list goes on and on. Honestly, I don't care what they use as long as they are writing and using their fine motor skills . Check out these super inviting writing tools that will have kids begging to write.
*Affiliate links are present.*
Cool Pencils for Kids
1) Kids will love, love, love these Magic Bendy Flexible Pencils . They'll love tying them in a knot.
2) If you have an animal lover, they'll be head over heels for these Woodland Animal Pencils .
3) Make your writing colorful with these Rainbow Swirl Colored Pencils .
4) Personalized Pencils with their name on them will help them keep up with their own pencil.
5) I have always thought these Branch and Twig Colored Pencils would be so cute in a classroom science center or in a nature walk bag .
6) Have a Lego lover? These Colored Brick Pencils are right up their alley!
7) Kids will get a good laugh out of this Giant Pencil .
8) My son that is taking piano lessons would love the Treble Clef Pencils .
Pencil Toppers for Kids
9) If you've got a fidgeter they might need these Twirling Pencil Toppers and Fidget Toys .
Pencil Sharpeners for Kids
10) This Nose Pencil Sharpener is hysterical.
11) I think this Wooden Robot Man Pencil Sharpener is downright adorable.
12) The Eager Beaver Pencil Sharpener made me laugh. Get it? Beavers chew wood. Pencils are wood.(Maybe it's only funny because I'm writing this late at night.)
Fun Erasers for Kids
13) Warning: Kids might do more playing than erasing with this Geometric Shape Puzzle Eraser .
14) Science-loving kids will like these Brain Erasers .
15) If you got the giant pencil from above, you'll need the Giant Eraser to go with it.
16) Little divas will love these Lipstick Shaped Erasers .
17) Donut Erasers would just make me hungry. Mmmmm...donuts.
18) Amazon has erasers in all shapes and sizes. Here's a cute set of animal erasers .
Fun Pens for Kids
19) Remember those retractable pens with several colors that you could switch back and forth? They still make the Rainbow 6-in-1 Retractable Pens .
20) Dream of the island while using this Tiki Pen .
21) These Peacock Feather Pens look like fun!
22 The Glow-in-the-Dark Skeleton Hand Pens are a little bit creepy.
23) I think these Banana Pens are hysterical.
Crayons for Kids
24) Kids can choose their colors with this Glitter Stacking Point Crayons .
24) Who needs to limit writing to just paper? Use these Bathtime Crayons in the bathtub!
25) Crayon Rocks are SO good for developing pencil grip in kids .
26) Slick Stix are super smooth twistable crayons.
27) These Left Right Crayons are also good for developing pencil grip and strengthening fine motor skills .
28) Kids will think you're the coolest when you let them use these Window Crayons on the windows.
29) I wonder what these Rainy Dayz Gel Crayons are like.
30) Always have the right color for coloring skin with these Multicultural Crayons . Did you even know this was a thing? I sure didn't!
Unique Markers for Kids
31) The smell of Mr. Sketch Markers instantly takes me back to my childhood.
32) These Tri-color Markers are so fun. Kids will love watching their writing change colors.
33) If your child loves sparkly things, they'll love these Metallic and Glitter Markers .
34) Kids will love making their own markers and then using them with this Silly Scents Marker Maker .
35) My kids love their Color Changing Markers !
36) If your kids liked the bathtub crayons, they'll love the Bathtub Markers .
37) Let kids decorate their own clothes or pillowcase with Fabric Markers .
38) Make secret spy messages with these Disappearing Ink Markers .
39) Never lose the lid with these Flip-Top Markers .
40) Let kids write on the windows with Window Markers .
Which one will you try first?
How to Help Young Children Learn to Write - children's activity news
Sunday 27th of September 2020
[…] and they are still learning to use their bodies. So our job is to help them out with that. The best writing tools are the ones they can get a steady grip of. Something not to think, like crayons or chalk. It would […]
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Teaching with Jennifer Findley
Upper Elementary Teaching Blog
November 20, 2016 | 33 Comments | Filed Under: Writing & Grammar
Writing Toolkits (Free Writing Resources for Upper Elementary)
Over the summer, I made math toolkits with tons of math charts and resources to help my students during math centers. I knew I wanted something similar for writing and I finally have it ready to share with you. These writing toolkits are full of FREE writing resources and charts that will help your students become independent and confident writers.
This post includes affiliate links if you wish to purchase the storage containers mentioned in this post.
Probably one of my students’ favorite writing resources is our editing and revising pens. We use purple and green pens for this step in the writing process and they fit perfectly in our writing toolkits. The purple pens are for revising drafts and the green pens are for editing drafts. I have included a blank version in the free download if you want to use different colored pens.
I have my students use two different color pens for two reasons:
1.) I want them to understand that revising and editing serve different purposes.
2.) Also, I want to be able to easily SEE that the students revised and edited their writing.
These charts are a huge help for my students’ writing. The charts are super versatile and can be used in several different ways, depending on how and when you want your students to use the writing resources:
- Hole punch them in place them on rings. Place the rings in storage containers, put them in cubbies, or even hang them from a bulletin board.
- Simply place the charts in the writing toolkits.
- Use the charts as interactive notebook charts and have the students glue them into their notebooks after you teach a mini lesson on the skill.
The writing charts included in this free download include charts for revising and editing, a chart for the writing process, grammar reminders, and much more! You can pick and choose which ones you want to use with your students and only print those pages.
As I mentioned in the above section, these writing resources can be stored in a couple of different ways. You can store them in the small photo containers as I have (click HERE to see these containers on Amazon) and place them at the writing station or center (if you have a separate area).
The writing resources could also be placed on rings at a writing center. If you have your students seated in groups or tables, you could put these writing resources on a ring and have one available for each table/group.
Another option is to simply have all these writing resources in the students’ writing notebooks.
Digital Writing Tools
I have included a digital version of the writing toolkits so your students can have a digital reference while they’re writing. The content is exactly the same as the printables, but they have been redesigned to work in Google Slides on a variety of devices.
- Project charts on your interactive whiteboard as a reference while students are writing.
- Add the digital writing toolkits as “Material” in Google Classroom for students to access when they are writing independently.
How Will I Use the Writing Toolkits?
Each year, it seems I do things differently depending on my students, their needs, and their levels. The great thing about these writing charts is their versatility. I can use them in writing centers, in my small group writing table, or I can have several sets made for the students to use during independent writing.
Don’t forget to click HERE to grab the math toolkit freebies as well!
Let me know in the comments if you think you will try these out this year.
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November 20, 2016 at 2:47 pm
This is a wonderful resource that you put together. This is great for a supplemental aids for students having academic support under the Special Education program. LOVE LOVE LOVE
November 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm
I will absolutely use these this year, probably starting tomorrow actually! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wonderful, detailed, well-organized, amazing resources in all subjects! I’ve been using your reading station ideas and the kids love those!
November 20, 2016 at 10:41 pm
This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this!
November 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm
I do not see an address or web site to order some of your products. Please reply
November 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm
Hi Sharon, you can see my products for sale at shopjenniferfindley.com. Thanks for asking!
November 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm
Do you have a kit for each student? Or do you have enough for a small group or half the class or…? This is a wonderful thing! Thanks so much for sharing!
November 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm
Thank you for sharing your writing kit. I was in search for a tool that the students can self- monitor. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 27, 2016 at 3:10 pm
I can’t wait to try these, thank you!
November 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm
I will be taking over a 5th grade classroom mid-year. I am thrilled to have found these. I can’t wait to put these to use. I love the idea of creating a kit that my students can take with them back to their seats. Well done!
December 23, 2016 at 10:16 am
I love the kit, but was wondering if you could add “or when citing text” to the quotations block on the punctuation card?
February 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm
Hi, I teach 4th grade and I have to admit – I”m addicted to your website and resources! Thus far, I have created the Math Toolkits, Close Reading Toolkits, and now I am working on these Writing Toolkits! My next project is the Guided Reading Teacher Toolkit (waiting on my Amazon delivery)! I have purchased many of your bundles, and many others are on my wishlist at your TPT store. Keep ’em coming!!!
March 13, 2017 at 11:21 am
Wow! These will be a fantastic addition to our interactive notebooks next year. I teach 8th grade ELA, but these will still be so helpful to my students. Thank you for making them free.
March 13, 2017 at 2:37 pm
I am so glad they will be helpful, Tyna! And you are very welcome!
May 30, 2017 at 9:19 am
I love this!!!! I cannot wait to use it, but was wondering if you had these pages available in full size instead of just the 4 per page, so I can post them as more of an anchor chart as well.
June 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm
I noticed on the “Writing Supplies” card that there is a copy with a blank line so teachers could fill in what color pens they use. However it is only on the top left one. Can you edit it so we can print 4 of them with blank lines please?
I love this and cannot wait to finish my toolkits for my classroom! Thanks. 🙂
June 29, 2017 at 7:27 pm
HI Samantha, I have it fixed. Sorry about that!
July 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm
Thank you SO much for this amazing resource! I am working on developing my writing program for next year (because what else do teachers do in the summer!) and I love the idea that students can cut these and paste them in a writing notebook or have them in those containers you mentioned. I will definitely use this so thank you thank you!!!!
October 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm
This is an AMAZING resource! Thank you!
October 15, 2017 at 9:35 am
What a WONDERFUL idea!! Thank you SO much for sharing!!!! I can’t wait to use this!
October 24, 2017 at 12:38 am
Hi, I love this resource but I am wondering if there is any way of getting a copy that is editable? I would love to use but need the Australian spelling of some words. Thankyou 🙂
December 6, 2017 at 11:44 am
Thank you so much for these clear, lovely resources!
June 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm
LOVE this idea! Thank you so much! I was thinking of using photo pages so the students can put them in a binder.
July 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm
Thank you so much for sharing these! Writing has been a struggle to teach as there is so much students must remember in the writing process. After teaching them about our writing block, I will definitely introduce these. They will be fundamental to struggling as well as advanced writers. Just have to figure out how I want to organize this. I also found your math tool kits… I cannot wait to use both. Thank you for making these free!
July 31, 2018 at 10:53 pm
Hello there! Love this writing tools resource! Our verbiage is a tad different than what you have. Do you have an editable version anywhere? Thank you!
October 19, 2018 at 9:25 am
Thank you so much for sharing them ♥️♥️♥️ Newbie teacher here and these really helped a lot. Your blog is a gem.
November 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm
You are amazing. I love this step-by-step guide to writing along with the many tools you have provided. I am ever so grateful to have found your site. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge!
November 30, 2018 at 12:42 am
This is a big help to me Jen. Thanks for your kindness. The freebies that your sharing me is very interesting and fun. I hope the Filipino children would love them. It’s a add on me as the teacher.Thank you very much for sharing.God Bless you more!
January 23, 2021 at 2:50 pm
This is great! Thank you for sharing.
May 4, 2022 at 10:37 am
I feel as I have struck GOLD coming across your resources. I cannot wait to start printing and putting the various kits together. Thank you for the effort that you have put into sharing your wisdom!!
June 1, 2022 at 8:27 pm
I LOVE THESE- they have been so helpful with Covid and each student having there own tool box at their desk with all the resources that they need. ONE huge favor or question- Are these writing tools in poster sizes? I know I can take them and ‘blow them up’ but it is always easier when they are already that size.
August 25, 2023 at 6:20 am
I can’t seem to get the link to open. It’s like it’s just a picture and not a link. Thanks!
October 2, 2023 at 10:04 pm
Are these writing toolkits still available?
October 3, 2023 at 12:44 pm
Yes, here is the direct link: https://jenniferfindley.com/download/18549/
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Welcome friends! I’m Jennifer Findley: a teacher, mother, and avid reader. I believe that with the right resources, mindset, and strategies, all students can achieve at high levels and learn to love learning. My goal is to provide resources and strategies to inspire you and help make this belief a reality for your students. Learn more about me.
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I hate packaged programs, but Write Tools exceeds any preconceived misconceptions. I love its framing so that I can use it with other lessons I’ve had success with.
I’ve taught 17 years, why haven’t I heard of this before? Genius!
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Literacy studies, master of science in education (m.s.ed.) and reading specialist certification (pennsylvania), you are here, inquiry-based master's program for educators and reading specialists committed to educational change and social justice..
The Literacy Studies master's is an interdisciplinary program focused on the study of literacy and language from sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, historical, and linguistic perspectives. This program was previously known as Reading/Writing/Literacy M.S.Ed. Beginning in Summer 2024, this program will be titled Literacy Studies M.S.Ed.
What Sets Us Apart
About the program.
The master’s degree program in Literacy Studies can be completed in just one year. Students can tailor the program to their area of interest, through selecting electives from our courses, from other Penn GSE programs, and from across the University of Pennsylvania. During fieldwork and research, students have the opportunity to work with learners from diverse age groups and cultures, building their expertise as researchers and practitioners.
Fall: 4 courses; Spring: 4 courses; Summer: 2 courses
Research apprenticeship Internship
Culminating experience Academic portfolio
Duration of program 1-2 years (full-time) 2+ years (part-time)
Transfer courses accepted 1 course
The M.S.Ed. in Literacy Studies is a master’s degree program that prepares students to be literacy practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in a wide range of contexts. Four principles guide the program:
- The program is interdisciplinary because literacy, language, and culture interact in rich and complex ways. Literacy and language are studied from sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, historical, linguistic, and literary perspectives.
- The program is inquiry-based, intended to raise questions about the relationships among theory, research, policy, and practice while encouraging students to build their own theories of research and practice.
- The program focuses on diversity, urban settings, and the contexts of different schools, communities, families, and cultures.
- The program is committed to educational change and recognizes that educational institutions are sites in which to work for social justice, equity, and transformation.
Certificate/Licensure offered Reading Specialist certification (PA) available
Dual degree options Master of Social Work (MSW)
The master’s in Literacy Studies program includes 10 courses: four required courses as well as six electives. One of the program’s highlights is the flexibility in choosing electives. Students can take electives from our program, electives from other programs at Penn GSE, or even courses offered elsewhere at the University. The culminating experience is the presentation of the student’s academic portfolio.
The Literacy Studies master’s program with Reading Specialist certification requires 10 courses: eight required courses and two electives. An eleventh course is required for students without a teaching certification or one year of teaching. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Reading Specialist certification after the completion of coursework.
For more information on courses and requirements, visit the Literacy Studies M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog .
Internships and Research
The internship in the Literacy Studies master’s program gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Through internships in settings such as the Weingarten Learning Resources Center; public, charter, and independent schools; community colleges; and community and social service agencies, students will work with learners across generations and cultures.
During their internships, students work with our faculty in research associated with some of the most distinguished research centers and professional development projects in the country: the Philadelphia Writing Project, the Penn Literacy Network, the National Center on Fathers and Families, the National Center on Adult Literacy, Penn’s Early Childhood and Family Studies Institute, and the International Literacy Institute.
Other Options: Certification, Dual Degree, and Accelerated Program
Reading specialist certification.
The Reading Specialist certification can be part of the master’s program, or students can enroll in it as a stand-alone program. Read more about the stand-alone Literacy Studies certificate in the University Catalog .
Students enrolled in the master’s program have the option of pursuing a dual degree in Literacy Studies (M.S.Ed.) and Social Work (M.S.W.) with Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Interested students should consult with their academic advisor. Learn more about Dual and Joint Degrees at Penn GSE.
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The Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree Program (Accelerated Program) is an exclusive offer for undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania to explore graduate education and apply up to four specific courses to both degrees, at no additional cost while they are full-time undergrads.
Philadelphia writing project fellows program.
All full-time Literacy Studies, M.S.Ed. applicants are encouraged to apply for the Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) Fellows Program. Each PhilWP Fellow will work as a graduate assistant for the Philadelphia Writing Project , gaining research experience while assisting in nationally-recognized studies and professional development experience activities. Additionally, fellows will receive:
- A half-tuition scholarship to be applied toward their graduate coursework
- Enrollment in PhilWP’s exclusive Summer Invitational Institute. This two-week professional development experience will yield students a certificate and status as a Teacher Consultant, making them eligible to facilitate paid professional development activities across the district and region.
- Opportunities to participate in professional learning experiences and community partnership work across Philadelphia and the U.S.
Students can apply for this fellowship opportunity when completing the GSE Application . In addition to the general application requirements, students applying for this fellowship will be asked to write a 250-word statement on their interest in becoming a PhilWP Fellow. There will be two fellowships awarded annually.
Literacy Studies Search Candidate Talk: Dr. Saba K. Vlach
Our faculty are renowned scholars who are committed to the study of literacy and language, to educational change, and to educational institutions as agents for social justice, equity, and transformation.
In addition to Penn GSE faculty, our program draws on scholars from across the University of Pennsylvania as members of its affiliated faculty.
Myrna Cohen Adjunct Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Adrianne Flack Adjunct Assistant Professor Ed.D. University of Pennsylvania
Adelyn Heidi Gross Lecturer, Penn GSE Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Whitelaw Adjunct Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
"I’m using the skills I developed at Penn GSE to collaborate with my colleagues to deliver targeted literacy supports for students, while also constructing a vision for literacy across our school."
The M.S.Ed. program in Literacy Studies prepares students as practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in educational settings that include K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community-based literacy programs, educational publishing, and government programs.
- Basic Skills Teacher, Plumsted Township School District
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Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements , as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.
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Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.
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Black Girls Literacies Project promotes self-care and community for Philadelphia teens
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More States Require Schools to Teach Cursive Writing. Why?
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On October 13, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill making cursive handwriting instruction mandatory in 1st through 6th grades. The legislation passed this year, but it could have just as easily made news nearly 200 years ago. In 1850, cursive writing was first introduced widely in schools, developed “based on fluid movements observed in nature,” according to the National Museum of American History .
The irony is that this push for cursive comes at a time when technological advances like laptops and other electronic devices have made keyboard-operated text communication quick, efficient, and widely available to K-12 students. An increasing number of states—California is only the most recent—are attempting to reintroduce the loopy, artistic form of cursive writing into curriculum standards. Here’s a look at how we got, or rather returned, here.
Common core standards pushed out cursive
Launched in 2010, the Common Core State Standards outlined specific skills in English/language arts and mathematics in an effort to bring some national cohesion to K-12 instruction. The standards don’t expressly mention cursive writing. They do, however, refer explicitly to keyboard skills in grades 3 through 5. For instance, the common-core standards expect 4th graders to “demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.”
By the mid-2010s, as many as 46 states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards. Consequently, cursive writing instruction waned. But within the past decade, statewide cursive requirements have been trending upward.
In 2016, 14 states required schools to teach cursive writing. During the 2018-2019 school year, that number jumped to 19. Currently, 21 states require some sort of cursive handwriting instruction, according to mycursive.com, a website that tracks cursive writing requirements nationwide.
Tracking state-by-state keyboarding requirements proves more difficult, according to the Education Commission of the States, a research clearinghouse, which has identified only four states that include keyboarding in state standards or graduation requirements: New York, Utah, South Carolina, and Texas.
The cursive comeback: a backlash to technology?
The renewed interest in cursive writing seems to be both in spite of the growing availability of advanced communication technology powered by artificial intelligence and because of it.
For instance, ensuring that students can read historical documents written in cursive tops the list of arguments that advocates of cursive make for its inclusion in the K-12 curriculum. California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, a former teacher of 30 years, made this point in a press conference about the recent California cursive bill that she authored.
“A lot of the historical documents going back two or three decades are actually in cursive,” she told the Sacramento Bee . Students need to be able to read them, she said.
But technological advances challenge such arguments. For instance, companies like Transkribus use artificial intelligence to transcribe documents in cursive, thereby making handwritten historical records accessible to students.
Similarly, advanced technology makes it possible to identify people using methods such as facial recognition, invalidating the notion of cursive signatures as essential unique identifiers. That argument has been made by cursive advocates such as Dickie Drake, a Republican state representative in Alabama who introduced a bill requiring schools in that state to teach cursive writing. The bill became law in 2016. “I think your cursive writing identifies you as much as your physical features do,” Drake told The New York Times .
But technology-driven cheating—from ‘lifting’ passages directly from online text to using ChatGPT to complete assignments—is a concern of teachers, as recent survey data indicate. On social media, some educators see a return to cursive writing as a way to combat these tech-heavy forms of cheating:
“Particularly in an age when AI gives such easy access to plagiarism, the ability to write one’s own thoughts down in handwriting (sans computer technology) seems pretty important. I see more teachers going back to handwritten, in-class assessments for this very reason. The ability to write fluently on paper will never be obsolete.”
— Ashley, B.
This comment came in response to a nonscientific Education Week LinkedIn poll asking educators whether they think cursive writing or keyboarding should take priority for elementary-age students. Within two days of posting the poll, 1,545 educators had responded: 43 percent in favor of cursive and 57 percent in favor of keyboarding. Some placed equal weight on both skills:
“There should be a choice for both since they’re both equally important. We live in an age where keyboarding skills are important but learning cursive engages the brain in a different way than printing.”
— Jacquelyn, R-A
Research supports cursive
The positive response rate to the Linkedin survey indicates how strongly educators feel about cursive writing. A robust body of research extolling its benefits may explain why.
Researchers have credited learning how to write in cursive with an array of benefits for young students—from building fine motor skills to stimulating and creating synergies between different hemispheres of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory.
These evidence-based benefits of learning how to write in cursive are powerful. But that doesn’t make cursive writing easy to implement in the classroom setting.
Even before the common-core standards were introduced and cursive handwriting was a foundational aspect of many elementary school curricula, time-strapped teachers reported challenges teaching it. In a survey of elementary education teachers in the early 2000s, fewer than half of respondents indicated that the speed of handwriting allowed students to keep up with classroom demands, and just 12 percent of respondents agreed that they had received adequate preparation to teach handwriting in their college classes.
How will teachers manage to reintroduce cursive writing into the classroom, especially as additional competing requirements like teaching keyboarding vie for instructional time? Just like writing those loopy capital cursive letters, it will take time, perseverance, and practice.
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Moscow, Idaho facts for kids
Moscow ( MOS -koh ) is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington , with a population of 25,435 at the 2020 census . The county seat and largest city of Latah County , Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho , the state's land-grant institution and primary research university.
It is the principal city in the Moscow, Idaho Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Latah County. The city contains over 60% of the county's population, and while the university is Moscow's dominant employer, the city also serves as an agricultural and commercial hub for the Palouse region.
Along with the rest of northern Idaho , Moscow is in the Pacific Time Zone . The elevation of its city center is 2,579 feet (786 m) above sea level . Two major highways serve the city, passing through the city center: US-95 (north-south) and ID-8 (east-west). The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport , four miles (6 km) west, provides limited commercial air service. The local newspaper is the Moscow-Pullman Daily News .
Geography and natural history
Alternative note on name and early history, moscow city hall and old post office, moscow public library, rail and bus service, parks and recreation, arts and culture, 2010 census, sister cities, higher education, primary and secondary education, high school, alternative high school, middle school, elementary schools, notable people, images for kids.
Main Street runs north-south through Moscow along the 117th meridian west.
According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of 6.85 square miles (17.74 km 2 ), all of it land.
Moscow lies on the eastern edge of the Palouse region of north central Idaho in the Columbia River Plateau . East of the city is a valley within the mountains of the Palouse Range to the northeast, whose highest point is Moscow Mountain at 4,983 feet (1,519 m) above sea level. The less prominent Paradise Ridge at 3,702 feet (1,128 m) and Tomer Butte at 3,474 feet (1,059 m) are southeast of the city. Paradise Creek, with headwaters on Moscow Mountain to the northeast, flows through Moscow, then crosses the state border and joins the south fork of the Palouse River near Pullman, which eventually drains into the Snake River and Columbia River on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
The geology in and around Moscow represents varied formations: very old intrusive granite structures of the Jurassic − Eocene Idaho Batholith, fertile fields atop rolling hills of deep Pleistocene loess of the Palouse Formation deposited after the last ice age by westerly winds, and flood-worn channels of the Columbia River Basalt Group .
There is a variety of flora and fauna within the vicinity of Moscow. An amphibian, the Rough-skinned Newt , has a disjunctive population at Moscow; this species is found typically along the Pacific coast of the USA. The city sits at the boundary between the Palouse grasslands and wheat fields, and the conifer forests of the Rocky Mountains to the east.
Miners and farmers began arriving in the northern Idaho area after the Civil War . The first permanent settlers came to the Moscow area 152 years ago in 1871. The abundance of camas bulbs, a favorite fodder of pigs brought by the farmers, led to naming the vicinity "Hog Heaven." When the first US post office opened in 1872, the town was called "Paradise Valley," but the name was changed to "Moscow" in 1875. The name Paradise persists with the main waterway through town, Paradise Creek, which originates at the west end of the Palouse Range, flows south to the Troy Highway, and west to Pullman where it enters the South Fork of the Palouse River .
The precise origin of the name Moscow has been disputed. There is no conclusive proof that it has any connection to the Russian city , though various accounts suggest it was purposely evocative of the Russian city or named by Russian immigrants. Another account claims that the name derives from a Native American tribe named "Masco". It was reported by early settlers that five men in the area met to choose a proper name for the town, but could not come to agreement on a name. The postmaster Samuel Neff then completed the official papers for the town and selected the name Moscow. Interestingly, Neff was born in Moscow, Pennsylvania and later moved to Moscow, Iowa .
The business district was established by 1875 and the town was a center of commerce for the region. By 1890, the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's rail line (later the Union Pacific ) and the Northern Pacific railroad line helped to boost the town's population to 2000.
Copy of a letter from Northern Pacific Railway agent in Moscow, likely R.W. Morris, to C.E. Arney, the Northern Pacific's Western Immigration and Indian Agent in Spokane, Washington . Arney wrote all station agents in Idaho on May 12, 1922, requesting the origin of the names of their stations for the NP's travel publication Wonderland , edited by Olin D. Wheeler. Moscow's agent replied May 15, 1922, as follows:
"I called ex-Governor William J. McConnell [Republican, 1893-1897, 1839-1925], who was on the ground when the name was selected.
"He advises there is very little history in connection with the name. A Russian from Moscow, Russia, established a trading post here, where Moscow now stands, and they decided to name it Moscow after his native city in Russia.
"Previous to locating Moscow, there was a trading post about one mile southeast of here. The above mentioned Russian was successful in getting a post office here, and the trading post, which was known as Paradise Valley, was abolished.
"The surrounding country was known as Horse Heaven Country, account grass grew well, and the Indians grazed large herds of horses."
Original document at the University of Montana, Mike and Maureen Mansfield Library, K. Ross Toole Archives, Collection 178, Box 210, Folder 10.
The capital of the Idaho Territory was relocated from Lewiston to Boise in December 1864. In the late 1880s, statehood for the Washington Territory was nearing. Because its commercial and transportation interests looked west, rather than south, the citizens of the Idaho Panhandle passionately lobbied for their region to join Washington, or to form an entirely separate state, rather than remain connected with the less accessible southern Idaho. To appease the residents of the north, the territorial legislature of Idaho in Boise placed the new land grant university in Moscow, which at the time was the largest city other than Boise in the state. The University of Idaho was chartered in January 1889, and first opened its doors to students in October 1892.
In March 1890, Moscow's neighboring city, Pullman , was selected as the home of Washington's land grant institution. The college which became Washington State University opened its doors in January 1892. Washington entered the union as the 42nd state in November 1889 and Idaho entered next, eight months later, in July 1890.
Members of the Pleiades Club and Ladies' Historical Club formed a cooperative named the Women's Reading Room Society and established a small library in the Browne building at the corner of Main and Second Streets in 1902.
In 1904, the committee planned to raise funds for a new library building. Andrew Carnegie promised funding of $10,000 if the community agreed to maintain a free public library at the rate of at least $1000 annually. Moscow voters approved a permanent tax in 1905 and with successful fundraising by subscription of local residents and businesses, coupled with the Carnegie library money, the library construction was begun in 1905. In March 1906, the Mission Style building was ready for occupancy. Later that month, a fire at the university's Administration Building totally destroyed that structure, so the new library was used for university classes during the day and residents used the library in the evening. Beginning in 1907 the building was returned to full use as a library. The original library building (which is on the National Register of Historic Places ) was expanded in 1931 and 1983. It houses a children's room named for Moscow native Carol Ryrie Brink , the author of 1936 Newbery Medal winner Caddie Woodlawn .
In 2006, the Friends of the Library celebrated a Century of Service for the organization. The current organizational structure of library service encompasses all public libraries in Latah County as the Latah County Library District. The library enjoys broad support from the citizens of Moscow and the County and is also supported by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (formerly the Idaho State Library.) To commemorate the first century of the library, an essay competition was held. One young writer wrote:
We are fortunate enough to be able to walk a few blocks down to the public library and check out whatever we want. Libraries are valuable and available to everyone, regardless of wealth. Anyone can and everyone should get a library card. I am very grateful that we have a public library in Latah County. —Elizabeth Nielsen (2006)
The Moscow Public Library currently houses about 60% of Latah County Library District's 100,000 volume collection. Administrative, technical, youth services, and branch services offices for the Library District are all housed at this location as well. The library offers year-round programming for all ages, including storytimes and a summer reading program for children, book clubs for teenagers and adults, and presentations by outside experts and organizations. The library also offers public Internet access computers as well as free wifi.
The library serves as resource for all the residents of Moscow, or as one essayist (Ellis Clark) in the 2006 contest states, "When time, money, or circumstances bind you to one locale, the Library is your passport for travel."
The opening of Moscow Mall (now Eastside Marketplace) and the Palouse Empire Mall (now Palouse Mall ) in the late 1970s shifted many retail businesses away from the aging city center, with buildings dating to the 1890s. The city developed a revitalization project for downtown in the early 1970s that included a major traffic revision, which was enacted in 1981. Traffic from US 95 on Main Street was diverted a block away to one-way corridors on Washington (northbound) and Jackson (southbound) streets, to alleviate congestion and improve pedestrian safety and the overall city center experience. Main Street was converted from four busy lanes with metered parallel parking to two lanes of local retail traffic with free diagonal parking; its sidewalks were modified and trees were added. At the north end of Moscow, southbound highway traffic divided west at 'D' Street to Jackson and returned to Main at 8th; the northbound route divided east at 8th, but returned to Main four blocks earlier in the north end, at 1st Street.
The original 90-degree couplets used existing streets of the grid and were intended to be temporary, but remained for years. The primary safety hazard was inexperienced truck drivers; excessive speed through the tight corners led to toppled loads and subsequent traffic snarls, with occasional damage to adjacent structures. The new, straighter couplets at the north end are both over a block in length and eliminated existing structures. The return couplet from Washington Street runs from 1st Street to beyond 'A' Street; it eliminated the original front portion (white stucco chapel) of the Corner Club tavern at the northeast corner of 'A' and Main, which was demolished in early 1991 after staving off its elimination for over a decade. The building on the southeast corner, the Idaho Hotel, built in 1890, was razed for the traffic project in 1977 and was a vacant lot for over a decade.
The first of the new couplets was completed during the summer of 1991. The new southbound couplet to Jackson Street was completed the following year in 1992 and begins north of 'C' Street. It eliminated a former service station at the northwest corner of 'C' and Main, which had been converted to other retail for over a decade. The critical couplet at the south end of the city was delayed several times for various reasons. Completed in 2000, it is two blocks south and one block east of the 1981 divider at 8th Street. After Sweet Avenue, northbound Main Street bends a block east to align with northbound one-way Washington Street, intersecting the two-way Troy Highway from the southeast. Southbound US 95 traffic joins the intersection from the northwest, arriving on a one-way diagonal from Jackson Street. Agricultural buildings on the block between Jackson and Main (College St. to Lewis St.) were razed in the late 1990s to complete this new corridor.
Another significant change to local commerce was the increase of the state's legal drinking age to 21 in April 1987, after nearly fifteen years at age 19. Many establishments that relied on revenues from 19- and 20-year-olds from the two university communities had to adjust or cease operations. Prior to the lowering to 19 in July 1972, the drinking age in Idaho was 20 for beer and 21 for liquor and wine.
A fixture of the Moscow skyline for nearly a century, the concrete grain elevators on south Main Street were demolished in March 2007. Located on the southwest corner of 8th & Main, the elevators were last operated by the Latah County Grain Growers. The other major concrete elevator complex, on Jackson Street south of 6th, was also slated for the wrecking ball. Idle since 2005, it was saved by a preservationist group in 2007. Its newer large-diameter metal silo hosted summer theater productions in 2011.
Pullman–Moscow Regional Airport is five miles (8 km) west, just east of the Washington State University campus. Other nearby airports are the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport, 34 miles (55 km) south, and Spokane International , ninety miles (140 km) north.
Amtrak passenger train service is available in Spokane , and there is a bus station in downtown Moscow. Bus service is to Spokane northbound and Boise southbound through Northwestern Trailways. Wheatland Express also provides service to Spokane.
There are seventeen neighborhood parks located throughout the town offering a wide variety of venues for outdoor activities. These parks fall under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Parks and Recreation Department. The Moscow Pathways Commission (formerly Paradise Path Task Force) is a citizen committee seeking to develop a system of linearly connected parks throughout the area. Carol Ryrie Brink Nature Park was a community collaboration between the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute and local volunteers to remeander Paradise Creek and add riparian plantings. The Moscow community, including schools and the city, led by local youth, raised money over several years to fund, design, and build a skate park which was completed in 2000.
The Latah Trail , completed in October 2008, extends from the eastern edge of Moscow bike path system to Troy , parallel to the Troy Highway (SH-8) for most of its 12 miles (19 km). On the west side of Moscow, the Bill Chipman Trail connects the two university communities of the Palouse. Starting at the UI's Perimeter Road, it gradually descends with Paradise Creek for 8 miles (13 km) to Pullman through Whitman County , alongside the Moscow-Pullman Highway. Completed in April 1998, the trail honors a Pullman businessman (and UI alumnus) who died two years earlier, following a winter highway accident in Spokane County . The Paradise Path bridges the gap in Moscow between the endpoints of the Chipman and Latah trails, passing through the north and east edges of the UI campus. The trail systems together constitute a continuous 22-mile (35 km) paved linear park from Pullman to Troy, extending in Troy beyond the eastern boundary of the Palouse ecosystem. From Pullman to the western boundary of Moscow (the state line), it follows the right of way of a dismantled Union Pacific railroad line, and east of US-95 it follows the right of way of a dismantled BNSF railroad line that junctioned at Arrow on the Clearwater River by way of Troy, Kendrick , and Juliaetta .
A small park in Moscow, Idaho, near the University of Idaho , is named for Admiral Ghormley.
The city was highlighted in a comedy special at University of Idaho by actor-comedian Yakov Smirnoff, filmed in late 1990. Using Moscow as its setting pokes fun at Smirnoff emigrating from Moscow, Russia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,800 people, 9,180 households, and 4,335 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,474.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,341.5/km 2 ). There were 9,879 housing units at an average density of 1,442.2 per square mile (556.8/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 90.9% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.
There were 9,180 households, of which 22.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.8% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median age in the city was 24.2 years. 16.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 36.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.7% were from 25 to 44; 15.6% were from 45 to 64; and 7.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.8% male and 48.2% female.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Moscow has a dry-summer continental climate ( Köppen Dsb ).
Moscow has one sister city , as designated by Sister Cities International:
The University of Idaho (officially abbreviated "U of I") is Idaho's oldest public university, located in the city of Moscow in Latah County in the northern portion of the state. It is the state's flagship , land-grant , and primary research university. The University of Idaho was the state's sole university for 71 years, until 1963 , and its College of Law, established in 1909, was first accredited by the American Bar Association in 1925.
Formed by the territorial legislature on January 30, 1889, the university opened its doors in 1892 on October 3, with an initial class of 40 students. The first graduating class in 1896 contained two men and two women. It presently has an enrollment exceeding 12,000, with over 11,000 on the Moscow campus. The university offers 142 degree programs, including bachelor's , master's , doctoral , and specialists' degrees. Certificates of completion are offered in 30 areas of study. At 25% and 53%, its 4 and 6 year graduation rates are the highest of any public university in Idaho, and it generates 74 percent of all research money in the state, with research expenditures of $100 million in 2010 alone.
As a land-grant university and the primary research university in the state, UI has the largest campus in the state at 1,585 acres (6.4 km 2 ), located in the hills of the Palouse region. The school is home to the Idaho Vandals, who competed on the Division I FBS (formerly I-A) level through the 2017 season before dropping down to the FCS level in 2018. In addition to the main campus in Moscow, the UI has branch campuses in Coeur d'Alene , Boise , Twin Falls , and Idaho Falls . It also operates a research park in Post Falls and dozens of extension offices statewide.
New Saint Andrews College opened in 1994 and moved to its present campus on Main Street in 2003.
The Moscow School District #281 operates Moscow High School (9-12), an alternative high school, a middle school (6-8), and four elementary schools (two K-5, one K-2, one 3-5).
There are two public charter schools Moscow Charter School (K-8) and Palouse Prairie School of Expeditionary Learning (K-8). In addition there are three private schools, Logos School (K-12), St Mary's School (K-8), and Palouse Hills Christian School (K-8).
- Moscow High School (9–12)
- Paradise Creek Regional High School (10–12)
- Moscow Middle School (6–8)
- Lena Whitmore Elementary School (K–5)
- A.B. McDonald Elementary School (K–5)
- John Russell Elementary School (3–5)
- West Park Elementary School (K–2)
- Carol Ryrie Brink (1895–1981), author
- Bryce Callahan (1991–), NFL cornerback signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent and currently plays for the Denver Broncos
- Joel Courtney (1996–), actor
- Darren Doane (1972–) filmmaker and music video director
- Hec Edmundson (1886–1964), basketball and track coach at Idaho and Washington, state's first Olympian ( 1912 : 800 m, 400
- Burton L. French (1875–1954), congressman from Idaho for 26 years
- Malcolm Renfrew (1910–2013), chemist and author of the first scientific papers on Teflon
- Jackson Gillis (1916–2010), screenwriter
- Abe M. Goff (1899–1984), congressman (1947–49), served in military in both world wars
- Samuel D. Hunter (1981–), playwright, 2014 MacArthur Fellowship recipient
- Robert Jessup (1952–), artist
- Kelli Johnson, news anchor for NBC Sports Bay Area
- Lawrence H. Johnston (1918–2011), Manhattan Project physicist, the only person to witness all three nuclear bomb explosions of WWII
- Luke Kruytbosch (1961–2008), thoroughbred horse racing announcer
- Andrea Lloyd-Curry (1965–), retired women's basketball player, Olympic gold medalist, national champion Texas, broadcaster
- Tom McCall (1913–83), Governor of Oregon (1967–75), Moscow newspaper reporter (1937–42)
- William J. McConnell (1839–1925), Governor of Idaho (1893–97), father-in-law of Senator William Borah
- Dan Monson (1961–), college basketball coach
- James C. Nelson, attorney and former Justice of the Montana Supreme Court
- Dan O'Brien (1966–) Olympic and world champion decathlete; Moscow resident (1984–1997)
- Doug Riesenberg (1965–), retired NFL lineman, Super Bowl champion
- Josh Ritter (1976–), singer-songwriter and author
- Frank B. Robinson (1886–1948), founder of spiritual movement, Psychiana
- Lyle Smith (1916–2017), football coach and athletic director at Boise State
- Willis Sweet (1856–1925), Idaho's first congressman after statehood (1890–95)
- Paul Wheaton, permaculture theorist, software engineer
- Douglas James Wilson (1953–), theologian
- Jonathan M. Woodward (1973–), stage and screen actor
The Old Post Office, constructed in 1910, now the current City Hall (2016)
Picnic table in East City Park
- This page was last modified on 6 November 2023, at 08:05. Suggest an edit .
Suspect broke into former Monroe school to steal copper wire, Davenport Police allege
Posted: November 25, 2023 | Last updated: November 25, 2023
A 27-year-old Davenport man is in custody after police allege he tried to break into a former elementary school to steal copper wiring, according to court records.
Rickey Appleby faces a felony charge of third-degree burglary and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of possession of burglary tools, court records show.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, police were conducting uniformed patrol in the area of the former Monroe Elementary School in the 1900 block of West 4th Street, Davenport, after reports of people entering the property and stealing copper wiring.
“This property is in the process of being demolished and is secured by a chain link fence approximately six feet in height,” arrest affidavits say.
Appleby was located on the property, within the fence line, “while in possession of bolt cutters and a face covering,” police allege in affidavits. Appleby said he used the bolt cutters to breach the fence line and force entry into the building with the intention of stealing copper wiring, officers allege in affidavits.
Police saw the metal wire used to secure the west doors had been cut and two piles of copper wiring had been accumulated on the north side of the building near the location where Appleby was taken into custody, according to affidavits.
Appley is being held on a $7,000 bond in Scott County Jail.
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