content-area writing · writing workshop

Weaving Writing Into Other Areas With Intention and Meaning

I have a phone call to make, and I’ve been putting it off because it’s probably not going to be a short call, and I need a coinciding project for when I make it. I fully admit to being one of those people who multitasks. I’d like to believe that when I have to focus, I do, but truth: if I’m going to binge a series, I will have a knitting project to justify it.

Perhaps in a related way, I’ve been thinking about ways to maximize instructional minutes. I don’t know about other districts, but in mine, time has become even more of a commodity. Students are receiving much less direct writing instruction because of so many factors, and important ones at that!

My thought process has involved ways to integrate writing into content areas– not a new concept at all, but something that is done haphazardly, sometimes without balance or intention. What can I create that will help teachers see writing opportunities within science and social studies blocks? How can I weave in goals and expectations for kids so that the expectation for quality is high?

With those questions in mind, I created templates for each grade that I’m happy to share. Then, I went through each lesson or learning sequence, on the hunt for writing suggestions across genres.

To access a template, click on this link. It will ask you to make a copy for yourself.

To see (and use) some fully filled out ones, here are some I’ve created. If your district is using Mystery Science, you may be able to use them as is.

I have not incorporated poetry into these charts, and I’ve been trying to think about ways to do that. I don’t want to suggest teaching a haiku here or a limerick there. If anyone out there has an idea, let me know!

Sometimes multi-tasking leads to mistakes, sloppiness, and even disasters, admittedly. But sometimes it can lead to getting things done. Necessity can become the mother of inventions, and I’m hoping that these documents inspire some meaningful writing opportunities where maybe they hadn’t been before!

3 thoughts on “Weaving Writing Into Other Areas With Intention and Meaning

  1. A poetry idea I’ve used with my students in content is black out or found poetry. Also concrete poetry is fun with the water cycle, write in a cloud or rain drop. Email me if you want more poetry ideas for content writing.


  2. Melanie, I completely agree that integrating writing across content is a powerful way to leverage instructional minutes. I think it also opens windows to authentic (and highly engaging) reasons to write. Thank you so much for sharing!

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