TitleWriting to Learn across the Curriculum: Tools for Comprehension in Content Area Classes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKnipper, KJ, Duggan, TJ
JournalReading Teacher
Start Page462
Type of ArticleElementary, Secondary
KeywordsAdolescent, Assessment, comprehension, Content Area, Elementary, Literacy, Middle School, Reading, strategies, writing

Mastery of content area reading in science and social studies is demonstrated through writing as well as reading. Integrating writing with reading enhances comprehension because the two are reciprocal processes. Therefore, teachers who implement a variety of writing strategies help students better understand content area texts. This article offers a repertoire of writing strategies that content area teachers in grades 4 to 8 can put into practice before, during, and after reading to strengthen students' comprehension and extend their critical thinking. Strategies described include learning logs, quick writes, listen-stop-write, microthemes, framed paragraphs, text boxes, biopoems, word maps, and ABC books. In using them, students “write to learn,” thinking about and interacting with text in a variety of ways. Writing to learn engages students, extends thinking, deepens understanding, and continues the meaning-making process. Teacher feedback and evaluation are important in writing to learn. Several examples of rubrics and checklists as techniques for giving feedback are provided. This article is also the source for a Class Acts podcast. Download ”Writing to learn across the curriculum“ from