3 Tips for Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom

3 Tips for Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom

One of the most effective ways to teach students how to become stronger writers is to break down the writing process, only focus on one specific area at a time, and provide students with consistent practice.

In this blog post, I will share tips on teaching writing and some of my favorite teaching resources for teaching students how to write essays.

Teaching Writing Tip #1: Break Down the Essay

3 Tips for Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom

One of the most helpful strategies for teaching students how to write essays is to break down the essay paragraph-by-paragraph. In doing so, the act of writing an essay will be less daunting for students.

In my Mastering the Essay teaching resource, I break down the essay writing process for students paragraph-by-paragraph. With direct instruction and small group activities, students learn about how to write an effective thesis statement, introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion.

This essay writing teaching resource is ideal for middle school and high school students. It includes an editable PowerPoint presentation that includes color-coded examples to help differentiate writing instruction.
Teaching students how to write an essay.

Mastering the Essay Teaching Resources


Teaching Writing Tip #2: Focus on One Writing Skill at a Time

3 Tips for Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom

Teaching students how to master the essay is a pretty lofty goal, and it is an even more challenging task for students. They have to remember proper capitalization, focus on verb tense, remember how to embed quotes, keep the essay in the same point-of-view, and the list goes on.

My Writing Spotlight Teaching Unit focuses on providing students with specific instruction on a single writing element to help students master that skill. I like to incorporate these lessons into my classroom one at a time, each time alongside a new, major writing assignment. As my students work on their writing throughout the school year, they slowly master different writing areas. They leave my classroom much stronger writers at the end of the school year.

Teaching students how to write essays one writing concept at a time.

Writing Spotlight Teaching Resources

Teaching Writing Tip #3: Provide Students with Consistent Practice

3 Tips for Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom

For students to become stronger writers, they need to write every single day. They don’t have to write entire essays each day, but they should be writing.

One way to provide students with quick and focused writing practice is through a daily bell-ringer activity.

One of my favorite bell-ringer activities is my Sentence Combining Bell Ringer. This resource includes several weeks of sentence combining practice. Each day at the beginning of the class period, students will combine a series of short, related sentences into a more complex sentence. This syntax-focused activity helps students really think about their writing as a craft.

When I include these sentence-combining bell ringers in my classroom, I have my students volunteer to read their sentences aloud. It is so much fun to hear all of the different sentences that students can form. Sometimes, I will even give my students challenges. For example, they will have to include all of the critical information but use as few words as possible. It’s a fun way to start the day.

Another way to have students practice their writing every day is to have students journal. Sometimes, having students freely write about anything they want is a great way to have students practice Writing

If you’re looking for more focus on daily journaling, many of my bell ringers are the perfect solution. Many of my bell ringers include a quote and a writing prompt.

Bell Ringer resources to Encourage Writing



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