Reference -
Content Area Writing
Every Teacher's Guide
authors - Harvey Daniels / Steven Zemelman / Nancy Steineke

To get true learning power, kids must put ideas into their own words.”
p 26 Content Area Writing – Harvey Daniels, Steven Zemelman, Nancy Steineke

  • Read chapter 2 - Writing to Learn

Britt - summarise p22 - 23

Virginia -

Intensive correction is ineffective. Giving kids the time to write informally need not replace formal writing tasks (it may in fact help it!) - rather informal writing is useful in and of itself to help kids develop and refine and organise ideas. Students should be given opportunities to 'grapple with ideas', transform information and use their own words in response to given information.

Darren - summarise - 28 - 29

  • Write down your understandings of what Writing to Learn is:


Writing to learn is informal writing that can be useful for generating, developing, refining and organising ideas - it is not about crafting polished written pieces for public consumption.


Marg - Writing to learn is low stakes writing (ungraded, short, spontaneous, exploratory, informal, personal, one draft and unedited) as opposed to public writing which is high stakes writing - and perfectly edited. Writing to learn includes notes, brainstorming, jottings, lists, pro/con lists, to do lists, sketches, doodles, diagrams, concept mapping, clustering, journaling, response logs, outlines, reflective journals, instant messages, plans, free writes etc.People generally remember:
10% of what they read
70% of what they say and write
90% of what they say as they do a thing
Writing to learn is an add in not an add on - watch this short video of the authors talking about their book.

List any questions or wonderings you might have of each other, about the chapter and the chapter summaries.



I'm quite keen to see some other examples of writing to learn tasks. Given that this sort of writing is by defintion ungraded, will all students put their most thoughtful work into this? I think for some students, these sorts of tasks could lead to even more thoughtful stuff than they do in their graded work as some kids seem to be hindered by a 'fear of being wrong' which is obviously not an issue with these sorts of tasks.