Writing lesson plan stages
This article provides a description of the writing lesson plan stages. A link to a sample of the lesson plan is provided at the end of the article.
Writing as a skill
A writing lesson involves training learners to develop writing skills. By definition, a skill is an ability developed through training and practice. Nobody is born a writer; we become writers. Even native speakers need to be taught how to write. The sub-skills involved in writing range from the knowledge of the alphabet to the ability to produce a coherent text. Here are a few examples of sub-skills:
- Mechanics (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)
- Grammar and vocabulary
- Cohesion (i.e., the ability to use grammatical and lexical linking that holds a text together and give it meaning.)
- Coherence (i.e., the ability to produce a coherent text so that the reader can follow the line of thoughts of the author.)
- The knowledge of the genre (i.e., the categories of writing such as reports, essays, emails, formal letters, etc)
Obviously, we are not born with the above sub-skills. We develop them through practice and perseverance. The following sections provide the writing lesson plan stages that help learners develop these sub-skills.
You can also find a link to a writing lesson plan sample at the end of the article.
What are the stages of a writing lesson plan?
The writing lesson plan should include stages that guide the students to discover the distinctive features of a model text, a genre such as formal letters, reports, or essays. Then, ideally, the students should be invited to practice the language, the layout, and the format of the target genre we want to teach. This should be followed by the process competent writers follow when writing, namely, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. This is commonly referred to as Process Writing:
- Reading a model text that represents a genre such as an email, a report, an essay, an advertisement, etc.
- Understanding the text, studying the genre, and analyzing its distinctive features (e.g., the language and the layout or format of the text.)
- Assigning the topic and making sure the students understand it.
- Planning (i.e., collecting ideas and making an outline)
- Drafting (i.e., producing the first version of the task)
- Revising (i.e., looking at the overall content and organization of ideas.)
- Editing (i.e., tidying up the draft and checking for diction, grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes)
- Producing the final draft
Structure of a Writing Lesson Plan
Writing Lesson Plan Stages
Stage 1 – Model text
The first stage consists of providing a model text of a genre and analyzing its distinctive features. This can be done by assigning well-designed guiding activities to help learners identify:
- The characteristic language of the genre (formal or informal, the expressions or vocabulary and grammar used to convey meaning.)
- The linking words and transitions used to connect the sentences of the text.
- The format or layout of the text.
Stage 2 -Practice
The practice involves working on the language and format of the genre. At this stage, the teacher assigns well-designed guiding activities to train the learners in using the right type of language, linking words, and layout. These can be in the form of matching, gap-filling, sentence completion, etc.
Stage 3 The topic
Assigning the topic is not that easy. First, it has to be contextualized. Second, it has to be well understood by the learners.
1. Contextualizing the topic
The writing topic should be contextualized and should answer the following requirements: who is writing what to whom and why? Simply, asking the students to write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones is not helpful and is purposeless. What should they write (i.e., what genre?): an email, an essay, an article, etc. And who is the audience? Are they the readers of a magazine, a friend, conference participants? Finally, why should they write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones in the first place? Is it because they noticed that their mates have become addicted to their smartphones? Is the writing a reaction to an article in a magazine?
An improved formulation of the topic should consider all these elements.
You have noticed that many of your school mates have become addicted to their smartphones. Write a short article for the school magazine to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones to raise the their awareness of the positive and negative aspects of smartphones.
2. Understanding the topic
Learners should understand the topic. They should understand what genre they should produce, who they should write to, and why they are writing about that topic. To make sure they understand the topic, you may want to ask them to complete a chart.
|What are you going to write? (The genre)|
|What are you going to write about?|
|Who is the audience?|
|What is the purpose of your writing?|
Stage 4 – Process Writing
After understanding the topic, invite the students to go through Process Writing.
Learners are prompted to collect as many ideas about the topic as possible through tasks such as brainstorming, discussions, chart filling, quick write, answers to questions, etc.
This is the first version of the writing. Students shouldn’t be concerned with accuracy at this stage.
When they finish writing their first draft, students are encouraged to look at the overall organization of the text, paying attention to whether the ideas included are relevant, getting rid of those that don’t fit, and adding more ideas if need be. They should understand that the reader should be able to follow their line of thoughts.
At this stage, learners focus on tidying up their drafts. They check diction (i.e., the choice of words), grammar, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)
Editing can be done by the learners themselves (i.e. self-editing) or with the help of their peers (i.e. peer editing).
5. Final draft
The final draft is the final version of the text. To recognize and value the students’ productions, help them publish their writing online such as on the class blog, Facebook group, or wiki.
Check the writing lesson plan sample in PDF Format. Click here.