Of course, in real life, writing is messy and recursive, but a set of steps can be really reassuring—for professional writers as well as student writers. Here are my 10 steps.
- Choose a Topic
- Do Research
- Find a Focus
- Write a Rough Draft
- Let It Chill Out
- Revise à Second draft
- Writing partner review
- Revise and add visuals à Third draft
- Proofread à Final draft
- Send to editor
Most of these steps are appropriate for elementary classrooms, although students give their final draft to a teacher instead of sending it to an editor.
One of the best ways to reinforce this process, is by taking ownership of it. And one of the best ways to do that is by creating an infographic that students can add to their writer’s notebook for quick reference.
Here’s an activity outline that could make a big difference your students’ writing lives.
After sharing my nonfiction writing process (above) with students, work with your class to identify and describe the steps of their process. How is their process similar to mine? How is it different? Be sure to record your class’s ideas on chart paper.
Divide the class into small groups and invite the teams to work together to create a list of the steps in their writing process. As the groups complete this task, put out crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils, and give each child a plain white piece of paper.
When students are satisfied with their list of steps, encourage them to use words and pictures to create an infographic that summarizes their nonfiction writing process and solidifies the steps in their minds. Suggest that they spend some time planning and sketching their infographic in pencil before creating a final version with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
Here’s my infographic. For a larger, printable version, please see this pinterest board.
When the groups have completed this task, invite team members to share their infographic with the rest of the class. Then encourage students to tape or staple the infographic into their writer’s notebook, so they can easily access it in the future.