>What Do Good Writers Do?


What Do Good Writers Do?

Two months ago I had a free for all with my students (as so often happens). It all started at 9AM the day before. I told them that we were going to talk about “what good writes do”. We weren’t going to engage in the activity until later the following day, but I wanted them to start thinking about the subject matter — not formally …. I just wanted to prepare them. 

The next day I split them into 3 groups. There was “no pressure”, I just wanted them to throw some ideas around. After some time (when the hum of activity started to die down) we came together as a class and I opened the floor. We talked about “what good writers do” and I wrote their ideas down on chart paper (now there’s a blast from the past). (Note: I was not so much the leader, but rather the facilitator & recorder.) We also voted on one key word to highlight/colour code in every “idea”.  
I have since posted our findings from that day on our classroom wall, and we add to it every now and then … whenever we see fit.

& So … if you were a fly on my classroom wall this is what you would see; here’s what we came up with:  (… I wonder what your students would say to you if presented with the same question?)


Good writers …….

express their ideas – they aren’t afraid or ashamed. They are risk-takers. They are playful … they explore …. they get messy.
… write often; practice.
… can get stuck; have off days.
… understand why they are writing; have established a purpose, a goal, a plan.
… have strategies & tools.
… develop strong introductions – they hook the reader.
… know that they are writing to entertain as well as to inform.
… develop satisfying, interesting endings.
organize their ideas & present them thoughtfully.
… think about voice; they want their personality to shine through.
… choose their words carefully.
… write sentences that are interesting & varied; they have rhythm and flow.
… pay attention to grammar & spelling.
… write & rewrite & rewrite & rewrite; they produce many drafts.
share their creations.
… can ask for help.
… are open to new ideas; they weigh suggestions carefully, & accept constructive criticism gracefully.

One response to “>What Do Good Writers Do?

  1. >I so failed many of their thoughts – lol. As I writeR, I do a lot of what they suggested but there are just times when work takes over and I can't "practice" or do writing related stuff. thanks for having a thought provoking question and discussion. I'm sharing your blog with other teachers too – E :)Elysabeth ElderingAuthor of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia seriesWhere will the adventure take you next?http://jgdsseries.blogspot.comhttp://jgdsseries.weebly.comPS – I'm available to do class chats via Skype if you are interested – your students could talk to a published author if they wanted some more input just let me know – E 🙂

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