Earlier this month I wrote my first blog (of three) about how to teach kids to decode a writing prompt or longer response question. Today’s installment is how to teach kids to decode what AUDIENCE they’re writing to – like I said in my earlier post, half of the battle is getting kids to stop and think about who, what and how before they even start writing!
I would see my students (and did this myself when I was in school!) just start writing…no time taken for planning, no strategizing! What I realize now is that they didn’t know how to plan! They didn’t know how to strategize before they wrote!
Here are the simple questions to get students to ask when they’re figuring out the audience of the piece they’re writing!
- What do I want the reader to know at the end of the text?
- Does the reader have experience with or bias for/against this topic?
- Does communicating with the reader require me to use technical, formal language? What clues does the prompt give me?
- Does communicating with the reader require me to write informally? What clues does the prompt give me?