It is important for students to have daily opportunities to write. According to Koppenhaver and Erickson (2007), students should write at least four days a week, otherwise they won’t learn to like writing. Infrequent opportunities to write suggests to kids that writing is difficult and not fun. This may be especially true for emergent writers, including many learners with intellectual disabilities. One way to provide regular writing practice for students is to ask them to write about what they are learning during math, science, and social studies lessons. A great benefit of writing about a specific content area is that it increases comprehension. Jacobs (2010) noted a strong relationship between reading, writing, and understanding. Writing assignments were found to help students make meaning of content and connect to new concepts.
Here are a few ideas for content-based writing tasks and related ASOLs.
- Prior to a science experiment, ask students to write their predictions (3S-SI 1a, 3S-SI 2b, 5S-SI 1e, 8S-SI 1e).
- Write a list of simple machines (3S-FME 3d), types of weather (5S-ESS 1a), items grown on farms
- (8S-ECO 7a), or resources found in Virginia (HSS-ERH 2c).
- Choose an animal and write a menu of its favorite foods (3S-LPS 6b,c).
- Choose a planet and write an imaginary travel report (5S-ESS 2a, HSS-ESS 1c).
- Write a letter to a famous American (HS-H 1a, HS-H 3, HS-C 4).
- Make a list of favorite Thanksgiving foods (HS-H 1b).
- Choose a career and write a job description (HS-E 1).
Creative Writing Ideas
Get more information on writing across the content areas, including links to specific writing prompts.
We Are Teachers
Tips to consider when planning writing instruction.
Erickson, K., & Koppenhaver, D. (2007) Children with disabilities: Reading and writing the four blocks way. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company.
Jacobs, V. A. (2010). Reading, writing, and understanding. Educational Leadership, 60(3), 58-61.