Writing is one of the most complex things I've taught. I think it's so complex to me, because it feels as if it should be really simple, but then it's made way more difficult. Writing is an outlet...a way that I feel kids should be able to express themselves. However, a lot of writing instruction is centered around text-based writing. Now, that is when the struggle comes in.
I always tell my students in order to answer a question correctly, you have to first know what the question is. This usually applies to the strategies I teach them for solving Math contextual problems. However, I thought of a similar approach to help them respond to writing prompts. I call this approach...
THE WRITE STATEMENT!
"The Write Statement" is something I thought of that would require my students first identify what they would be writing about before they started writing. This pre-thinking stage helped them identify the purpose of whatever they were writing.
Below are images of slides that I showed my students.
My students practiced with this repeatedly. I would make sample writing prompts and have them write writing statements without actually having to write the essays or stories. Again, the purpose of The Write Statement is to help students identify the purpose of their writing before they respond to the prompt.
I noticed a big improvement in my students' ability to to effectively respond to writing prompts.