Need a way to remind your students of all the 6 Traits writing strategies you have taught them? This post shares how I organize my writing mini-lessons and how I display them for my students using a dedicated bulletin board. To help you come up with mini-lessons, I also include the writing checklist I use for free.
All About the 6 Traits Writing Board
For the past two years, I have used a Cafe inspired board for 6 Traits. If you are not familiar with Cafe Reading, this strategy breaks down reading into four groups: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. Mini lessons and strategies that are taught typically fall under those categories.
Cafe boards are used to hang the mini-lesson statements to document the learning. They also remind the students of the strategies taught. Click here to read more about this strategy.
After being told that we were using this writing framework for this year, I knew I wanted to do a similar board to showcase our learning. Below is a picture from the beginning of the year of my 6 Traits Writing board.
I found these bright, colorful 6 Traits Writing Posters on Proteacher and hung them above two pieces of construction paper. You can find the posters that I used on this post on the forum. The students and I will add strategies under each poster as I teach mini lessons. We will use sentence strips to record the mini lesson title under the poster. Examples: “Spicy Verbs” under Word Choice or “Tricky Homophones” under Conventions.
I also like to post a student paper that shows a great use of the trait on the second piece of construction paper. This works as a great model and the students love it. Click here to see an updated post about the 6 Traits Writing board and see examples of the mini-lessons.
About the Mini-Lessons
While I conference with students, I use a checklist to help plan my writing mini-lessons and to use as a student reference. I have broken down each trait into several specific mini-lessons and strategies to teach. The students have a copy of this checklist in their writing notebook. We check off the skills as they demonstrate mastery of them. We highlight the ones they are currently working on. This is not an exhaustive list! I am sure I will add to it as the year progresses and as I become more comfortable and familiar with teaching the material.
Click here or on the picture for a copy of the 6 Traits Writing Mini-Lesson checklist!
Do you use 6 Traits Writing in your classroom?
Patricia C. says
Hey! LOVE that you have started a blog! Congratulations! It looks great. P. Clark
Jennifer Findley says
Thanks, Patricia! I am excited about it! I just want to blog all the time! Hope you are enjoying your summer break!
I just found your blog and I'm in HEAVEN! You have so many great ideas! Here's the crazy part – I also live in Dalton but teach in Murray. What are the chances?
I will be teaching 5th grade reading/writing/language/spelling this year after teaching 2nd for 4 years. I am finding sooo many great resources on your blog – so THANK YOU!
I like the idea of using the 6 traits for writing – where do you find the mini lessons for each trait? Or are the ones on your checklist ones that you came up with on your own? I'd love to see more!
Jennifer Findley says
I grew up in Murray! I love it there. I am hoping to be able to teach in that area at some point(you know how jobs are). I use a couple or resources for my mini lessons:
This GREAT book called Razzle Dazzle Writing by Melissa Forney.
Mastering the Mechanics (Good for Grammar)
But honestly, most often I just find a good read aloud and teach the mini lesson from there.
Are you guys embracing Common Core in Murray County?
I just looked up Razzle Dazzle Writing – WOW it looks amazing! I'm going to email our literacy coach at school to see if she will order it for me. If not, I will definitely be ordering it myself! Thanks for the recommendation – I am getting ready to check out the other one you mentioned.
I guess I'm just so used to 2nd – it's going to take a while for me to be able to form my own mini-lessons. I just feel like 5th is a whole different world. Part of me is excited for the change, while the other part of me is terrified :/
I will be attempting to embrace the Common Core 🙂 I found your TPT store and have about 6 or 7 things sitting in my cart waiting for checkout…I love all of your resources so much they are great!
Jennifer Findley says
I will be creating narrative units based on the 6 Traits and Common Core for this year. I know in Georgia, you guys have to teach all three types of writing. We still have another year of only being assessed on narrative so we focus on that until February. I will be posting the units on TPT when they are finished (not even started!), but I will send you a copy if you want! Even if it is too late for you to use this year, you can use them next year! I love to help out a school from my hometown. I attended school at Spring Place and a year at Eton and I loved it!
For some reason, I just saw the last message you posted. I actually teach at Spring Place 🙂 I would definitely LOVE copies of anything you create – I will keep my eye out on your TPT store – I'm following you on there. I've spent a lot of the summer getting my room ready, and it hit me today when I was in The School Box that I have NO CLUE how I am going to teach these kids this year – I almost had an anxiety attack! Some friends of mine that teach in other districts have attended trainings and workshops this summer, but I've got nothing. It's scary!
Mr B says
I know this is sooo last year but I am trying to implement a 'CAFE' style writing program this term and have only just recently discovered the Writing traits idea. I'm yet to develop any mini-lessons however I have started with a board. I think that I will have to follow your blog for more great ideas.
Michael from Australia.
Ms. Blair says
Love the checklist and have been thinking about doing the same format of CAFE for writing. Thanks for sharing!