According to current research, learning to write freely requires a large amount of practice. We can help the students acquire a broader literacy that gives them opportunities, encourages them to communicate and allows them free expression through the experiences of free writing. In this unit, the instructors are to remember that every piece of writing cannot be outlined first, because the writing process does not have its beginning in a completely organized prose. It is better first to verbalize, list, explore and write freely. Subsequently, the students will focus on ideas and content before writing the words and grammar correctly, because writing and editing are two different skills.
Good writing involves a process of thinking, writing, rethinking and revising. In this unit, work in mastering the writing process will include seven interrelated phases of instruction; the students will progress through each phase in a sequential order.
A daily schedule should be established for free writing during 8-10 minutes. The language skills: usage, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, style and organization are not to be substituted for free writing, because the reluctant writers will not be influenced to improve their writing skills. In Bob Foley’s book,
The Writing Process
and Writers Workshop
, he notes that “the formal teaching of English grammar, traditional or transformational has virtually no influence” (p. 50). This is why the “Dependent” subgroup will not be forced to do the tasks of “Phases 6-7” that are addressed in this unit. Therefore, during language arts time, the suPporting activities should evolve from the free writing phases and time.
This unit will present the writing process in seven phases and will be taught throughout the year in grades 6 and 7.
My organization of the sequential phase represents what I see as a natural unfolding of the way students learn to master writing and thinking skills. First, the prewriting phase allows students to explore their ideas and experiences. Discussion and peer interaction enhance the sense that what they have to say is valuable. These prewriting strategies also connect with reading books, book reports, maps, lists, comic strips and the like.
I will also incorporate their accomplishments in arts and crafts as something special to them that they may want to explore in language and writing. Each person is worthy and has something to offer to society. Therefore, writing can reinforce a sense of self-worth and esteem that leads toward greater confidence, interest and free expression in writing.
The year will progress as follows:
I. September-October: The students will do various prewriting strategies: Phase d.
II. November-December: The 3 subgroups will do journal writing. Some students will complete seven phases, but others will not complete them. The 0-4 grading system will be used in Phase 6:D. Subsequently, the “Dependent Group” will write journals during the entire school year: Phase 2.
III. January: The students will study and discuss the elements of effective writing during the group activities; they will plan and organize one of their free writing pieces: Phase 3.
IV. February: The students will do Phase 4: First Draft.
V. March-June: The students will be divided into three subgroups. Instructors should remember that each student progresses individually; refer to Phase 5 for further details.