The Current Writing Crisis and Strategies to Combat It

When thinking about the current writing crisis in America, there seems to be a dis-connect. From our readings in Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide, it gives two perspectives. On one hand, the students of the current generation are prolific writers in instant messaging, email, Facebook, blogging, chatrooms, etc. (3). On the other hand, standardized writing exams and employers looking for employees who can write well, say that we have a writing crisis on our hands (2).

How can we as teachers use writing to get our students to learn? Here is a strategy that we can use in our classrooms. It is to take writing breaks. In the strategy, we want the students to think and then get their thinking down on paper. Pick a good time to have the students stop and write in response to a question. The question could be, “What information so far stands out to you and why?” Or they could just write what they are thinking of right now.

I observed my colleagues 7th grade English class last week. After reading A Midsummer’s Nights Dream and discussing it, each student was assigned a part of the book and wrote it as a script for a play in their own words. It was compiled and now they are performing this play. This strategy encourages students to write the learned information in their own words and this is also a tool that can be used in all content areas.

Daniels, Zemelman, & Steneke, Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide, 2007 Edition.

Daniels, Zemelman, & Steneke, Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide, 2007 Edition.

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