Technique and Quality Before Modes and Forms
Through our standards, our curricula, and our academic traditions, we have been taught to focus our instruction on modes and forms of writing.
Modes and forms are important, but technique and quality are more so, especially when we teach them early and often.
Many writing techniques exist that help kids produce quality writing across forms. These are the skills kids need first.
Integrated Literacy contains foundational techniques kids need. It also has examples of good writing and simple language to describe their characteristic traits.
More of these resources are created all the time by teachers who have been using and modifying Integrated Literacy for many years and continue to do so.
Kids who know what good writing is, and who have the techniques they need to produce it, master more forms than kids who have neither.
Teaching kids about quality without teaching them about technique is a recipe for frustration and failure. Teaching kids about technique without telling them how technique makes their writing better is a recipe for confusion.
To produce good writing consistently, kids must have reliable techniques. They also need ways of knowing how well they’re applying the techniques they’re learning how to use and how those techniques improve the quality of their work.
We can get to all the forms in our standards and curricula if we keep the lengths to appropriate minimums. Shorter pieces give kids many opportunities to master the forms they struggle with most.