I’ve written a lot about the value of scaffolded writing frames for students – English Language Learners and those who are proficient in English – to use when they are responding to prompts. As my colleague Lara Hoekstra says, “As long as we’re clear that these are some ways to write, not THE ways to write, they can be helpful.”
Some of the teachers at our school met today, and shared the different writing frames we use. They’ve given me permission to share them here, and I’m also including links to previous posts where I’ve shared different related ideas (you can lot of other resources at The Best Posts On Writing Instruction). Please share your own in the comments section:
Helping Students Respond To Writing Prompts
“They Say, I Say” Is A Great Writing Resource
Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction
“RACE” Looks Like A Useful Writing Strategy
The Text-Evidence Strategy That Changed My Classroom is from Scholastic and is also about RACE.
I’ve previously shared an example of how I scaffolded an ABC writing prompt (Answer the question, Back it up with a quotation, make a Comment & Connection). Based on the conversation we had today, I made some minor, but important changes. I have a picture of the revised version here, and you can download both the old and new versions here (the new version is the second one in the file).
This next one is from my talented colleague Nichole Scrivner – the well-known PEE frame is simple and effective:
Here’s a short excerpt from “They Say, I Say” (see a link earlier in this post) that Lara Hoekstra gives to students so they can use it as the “Back it Up With A Quotation” part of the ABC writing frame (or as the “Q” in the “PQC” – Make a Point, use a Quotation to back it up, and make a Comment):
Nicole Simsonsen shared a strategy called T-BEAR:
T- Topic Sentence
B- Brief Explanation/Bridge to Examples
You can find lots of examples and graphic organizers illustrating T-BEAR online. Here’s an image of one she uses:
You can download the next three examples here.
Jen Adkins shared her own version of an ABC response:
Jen also adapted an excellent strategy from our colleague Chris Coey to help students develop an “analytical paragraph.” Also note the strategic way they have students highlight different parts of their paragraph to help them self-analyze if they are placing a higher priority on the “commentary and context”:
Mary Osteen shared a sheet her students use to provide peer feedback. However, she gives it to them as they are writing, so it functions as a writing frame scaffold, too:
Antoine Germany, another very talented colleague at Luther Burbank High School and the head of our English Department, shared three very helpful documents he developed about writing frames. He’s given me permission to share them on this blog.
The first two are on PQC (Point, Quote, Comment) and on PEE (Point, Evidence, Explain). You can download them here.
The third document is on ABC (Answer the question, Back it up with evidence, Comment with an explanation). You can download that document here.
Turning Misinformation, Misunderstandings and Misconceptions into Questions That Drive Us… https://t.co/fwVnQWaleS pic.twitter.com/CLynYoZbaW
— Jess (@Jess5th) February 5, 2017
Stoked to better guide students beyond a literal understanding of our class novel this week, after training with @Doug_Lemov. Thanks! pic.twitter.com/f9IxoSHulZ
— Kelsey Uribe (@KelseyUribe) February 12, 2017
Robert Peal shares a nice writing scaffold at Planning a knowledge-based scheme of work. Part 2: Writing.
Comprehending Non-Fiction: Setting Kids Up for Success is by Russ Walsh. I’m adding it here because of his discussion of an after-reading writing activity called RAFT.
ON SCAFFOLDED DESCRIPTIVE WRITING OPENINGS is from The Learning Profession.
Mary Osteen, one of my many talented colleagues, shared this one today at an English Department meeting. She calls it “AREE!” with an explanation point so she can sound like a pirate 🙂
It stands for Assertion, Reason, Evidence, Explanation:
I think it’s a helpful frame.
However, what I believe really makes it stand out from some of the other frames on that “Best” list is this sheet that she’s developed to teach the frame:
She has students fill in the blank squares as a way to scaffold learning the writing frame progression. For International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge teachers, this kind of form will look familiar because that’s how IB encourages us to teach the concept of Knowledge Questions.
You can download both of the documents pictured in this post here (Mary has given me permission to share). By the way, I’ve recently given up the use of my regular document scanner and instead use an amazing iPhone app called Genius Scan, which works great!
Here’s another one in the form of a tweet:
Using WHAT-HOW-WHY rather than PEE has been life-changing! Thanks to teachers on here for sharing. So useful for prompting deeper thought. pic.twitter.com/pvpSorNGHo
— Erin Miller (@Miss_E_Miller) April 2, 2017
Here are some links to resources and research on these kinds of frames:
The Impact of Sentence Frames on Readers Workshop Responses
This newsletter contains a nice paragraph frame for science writing (you’ll have to scroll a couple of pages down).
Writing Frames With Content Examples
Critical Thinking and Beginning Writing Skills is from ELT Research Bites.
Geography Writing Frames For ELLs (They Can Be Used In Other Subjects, Too)
Tips for Teaching RACE Constructed Response Strategy is from Teaching To Inspire.
The Teaching Channel has a nice video on Scaffolding Text Structure for ELLs, though it’s useful for everybody.
Yes! The CER (Claim-Evidence-Reasoning) text structure is super-helpful as a language scaffold for our students *and* for adults when engaging in critical thinking! 🌟 Thank you @ENLACE_Lawrence for continuously inspiring educators and for leading by example. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/RPlYACj7Jp
— Sarah B. Ottow (@SarahOttow) July 21, 2018
TWO “WRITING FRAMES” FOR ELLS & EVERYBODY ELSE
Awaken English has some Arabic translations that can help with student Writing Frames.
‘Writing Frames Help Students Organize Their Thinking’ is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns. In it, Matthew Perini, David Campos, Kathleen Fad, Jocelyn A. Chadwick and Diane Mora finish up a three-part series on writing frames.
Sentence Stems or Sentence Frames is by Valentina Gonzalez.
#VirtuEL19 How to support #ELLs in social studies class. FANTASTIC strategies include:
1.TEA writing scaffold
2.1-point rubric w/ COLO
3. Intro paragraph
4. TPRS (narrative + images) https://t.co/jKnXmSaK7p @DiGENLTech https://t.co/kyWBK9rY0h #esl #eal #eld #esol pic.twitter.com/8A2Jvpq0C0
— Tan Huynh (@TanELLclassroom) June 16, 2019
Note to Self: Don’t Fear Structured Writing Prompts comes via The National Writing Project.
This is the writing practice I’m talking about! They used those boxes the ENTIRE semester! Practice. Persistence. Patience. Eventually as moved from the boxes and went straight to writing in test format. The scaffold was no longer needed! #WritingMatters #ellchat_bkclub pic.twitter.com/wqhZ9fedRB
— Carlota Holder (@carlota_holder) December 14, 2019
Trail of Bread Crumbs has tons of great graphic organizer writing structures.
Just in case anyone else gets sentence frames and sentence stems confused. I used to use the terms interchangeably, but I found it really helpful to think about the different purposes they serve. pic.twitter.com/CZszbozjvq
— John @ Kid-Inspired Classroom (@kid_inspired) November 25, 2022
The second study cited in this article highlights the value of the kind of paragraph frames that I use in my classroom.
📝 Need help getting ELLs to organize a well-structured, clear response to academic questions?
Try the R.A.C.E.S. formula. Here's a full explanation and download of the process.https://t.co/2VQBJT47cy https://t.co/2VQBJT47cy
— John @ Kid-Inspired Classroom (@kid_inspired) February 21, 2023
As you can see, I’m pretty lucky to be able to work with such talented and generous educators!