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Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) has become a well know phrase amongst teachers in all content areas. Writing Across the Curriculum is designed to enhance children’s critical thinking skills by requiring them to write in all content subject classes. Learning to write well is an essential element that students are expected to acquire in real world applications. Thus, Writing Across the Curriculum is the most effective and preeminent approach to help students become independent learners in all content areas.
Implementing WAC can be achievable at any grade level, more specific to this of fifth grade. Fifth graders can write in every subject, specifically social studies and reading classes. There are many activities and strategies that help teachers implement WAC in their classrooms. WAC does not have to be done every day, but is encouraged. There is many research and evidence that is found in implementing Writing Across the Curriculum in the classroom. TEKS that are covered include: (15) Writing/Writing Process. (A)(B)(C), (17) Writing. Students write about their own experiences, (18) Writing/Expository and Procedural Texts (A)i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(B)(C)(D).
Writing Across the Curriculum is a movement that allocates writing in all content subject areas. It boost students’ literacy skills and allows for higher order thinking skills to be implemented in all content areas. The integration of WAC can help students achieve the TEKS listed by having more time to write in all content areas. Also, using different principles, practices, and techniques of WAC to break down the TEKS to assure mastery. WAC can be done in all content areas at any grade level. Writing is most commonly integrated with Social Studies and Reading.
Social Studies is needed for integration of writing and would be better for students if writing was done in it. Social Studies covers so much history and information that it becomes the easiest to make accessible over writing. Studies have found and linked writing in social studies to be resourceful to students learning. Students are improving their writing, thinking skills in well-designed writing activities, and learning more about the discipline of study. Integrating writing in Social Studies allows for students to become prominent independent thinkers and writers. Using history to impact students writing, can help student connect to different aspects of history as well as their writing.
A useful tool to help students construct their own conceptual understanding is using an interactive notebook in social studies. Research shows that students who use an interactive notebook develop strategies to create subjective, planned, and document learning. Interactive Notebooks would be implemented in social studies by using them as a tool for learning content material. Educators can provide an exact design for introducing notebooks, so that students can properly use the notebook. Students who use interactive notebooks will become more engage with sense making and metacognitive activities. Research has shown that implementing interactive notebooks helps students connect with content material and becomes a tool for note taking skills. Using interactive notebooks can be helpful for students, by using resources such as “Teacher Pay Teachers.” There is a lot of already made interactive notebooks on different aspects of history that can be used for specific content areas. For example, there’s a whole unit on American Revolution that’s up for purchase. Teachers can use this for hitting on social studies as well as having students write about the content. Some of the interactive notebook lesson come with writing assignments that can be implemented as well.
The Article titled A Focus on Writing in Social Science, written by Sharon Franklin, explains how to make the study of social science come alive for students. “It’s often referred to as constructivists learning – letting students grab a hold of a subject, any subject, in a way that allows them to create meaning” (Franklin). Through the article, Franklin spends a lot of time focusing on the importance of integrating social studies and language arts together. Also, making students see how not just “famous people” shape history. That everyone contributes and molds their place into the world and society. “Integrating primary source materials with literature, both in language arts and social science, will help students to see how all history has a point of view and how language can convey meanings that far outweigh the sum of the individual words” (Franklin).
Journaling should be implemented into social studies because it allows students to reinforce their learning and build up their confidence in becoming a writer. Journaling can be implemented into social studies by using it as a tool for students. A journal can help students can express their knowledge, creativity, and to write short personal narratives. Teachers can expect students to write about information that they have learned throughout social studies as well as using writing techniques to express their voice. Research shows that journal writing in social studies is one of the most prevailing and valuable tools for reflective/expressive writing. Journaling enhances students thinking skills and they become better writers.
In the article titled, Critical Reading and Writing across the Curriculum Assisted by Metacognitive Strategy (BTS) toward Student Study Club at Undiksha, written by authors I Nyoman Yasa, Imam Suyitno, and Yuni Pratiwi discusses how they implemented Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum (RAWAC). The authors follow several steps in order to implement both areas into their classrooms. One of the steps is journal writing and linking it to social studies. While reading about different historical events and people in the classroom, students used journals to write down key words, ambiguous words and sentences, or formulated questions towards the readings, and the students and teacher discuss the information they wrote down in a group discussion. Journaling has big enfaces on group discussion, which strengthens student’s communication skills, while writing. Journaling can improve students thinking and achievements in writing (Nyoman).
Writing Workshops in social studies are helpful because they create dialogue between peers. Workshops also allow a focus often ten to fifteen minutes on certain aspects of writing. Writing Workshops can be implemented into social studies by implementing a designated time in the class period to work on different writing elements and aspects. The value of incorporating writing workshops in social studies is that it helps students connect to the content and also enhance writing skills that are needed for note taking, journal writing, or writing essays. Writing workshops can be used such as implementing resources like “The Writing Workshop.” This resource was designed to engage students in different writing elements that are needed to become a successful writer. It makes learning about writing fun and there are many different games and styles to hit on all different types of learners. The Writing Workshop can be used in social studies by having students learn about historical events and writing an article about that specific event. Students can use the writing workshop to have peers edit their work as well as form a whole class page article for the school to read. Implementing a writing workshop in the classroom will lead students to become higher thinkers and advance their writing to the necessary standard.
Reading is needed for the integration of writing and would be better for students to develop the necessary writing skills. Reading covers so much genres and literacy skills that are needed to be successful, that incorporating writing is simple. Studies have found that linking writing in with reading is most helpful for students, because students can express and voice their feelings on different elements of reading. “The activities of reading and writing have a close relation. Reading is able to improve the writing skill, and writing can enhance the reading skill. Reading and Writing complement each other” (Nyoman).
A useful tool to help students construct their own conceptual understanding is using an interactive notebook in the reading classroom. In the article titled, Integrating Interactive Notebooks written by Cheryl Waldman and Kent J. Crippen discuss that a dominant tool for students are implementing interactive notebooks. “An interactive notebook can be a powerful instructional tool, allowing students to take control of their learning while processing information and engaging in self-reflection” (Crippen). For reading classes, the use of interactive notebooks can be used for activities such as dissecting poems and using a notebook to break down meaning and allowing students to formulate their own poems.
Journaling should be implemented into reading because it allows students to reinforce their learning on literacy and build up their confidence in becoming a writer. Journaling can be implemented into the reading class by using it as a tool for students. Journaling enhances students’ critical thinking skills and the use of students’ cognitive skills. Based on the article, Using Journaling to Enhance Learning and Critical Thinking in a Retailing Course written by Angela D. and Wilbur W. Stanton, “learning journals are a mechanism for students to reflect on what they have learned in a course and relate it to real world applications and life experiences” (Stanton). Learning journals can help students break down different genres in a reading class. This can help students provide examples of different genres as well as be able to decipher genres, when reading in class. Journaling not only improves students’ ability to write, but also their ability to read.
Writing Workshops in reading are helpful because they create dialogue between peers. Allowing a time in the class for a writing workshop can improve students writing skills as well as dig into literacy rich content. Writing workshops can allow for students to revisit, revise, edit, and publish their work. Workshops also allow for peer edits and discussion to take place. Important and necessary skills that are needed to be successful. Reading and writing go hand and hand, and allowing time in the class for students to write can help students be successful.
Writing Across the Curriculum serves as an important tool in all content areas and something that teachers should implement. Research proves that teachers and student benefit from writing in all content areas. There are many useful resources to use for each grade as well as the whole school. In fifth grade social studies, using tools like interactive notebooks and journal writing gear students to writing more. Most students think writing is always done when writing essays, but writing is truly done in every content area. When a student picks up a pen or pencil, they are writing weather it’s formulating an essay, sentence, or simple writing an equation. Writing is done every day and it will always be around.
- Calkins, Lucy, 1951-. The Art of Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, N.H. :Heinemann, 1994. 20, November 2018. Print.
- Carillo, Ellen C. “Engaging Sources through Reading-Writing Connections across the Disciplines.” Across the Disciplines, vol. 13, no. 1, July 2016. 19. November 2018. EBSCOhost. Web.
- Collins, James L. [email protected], et al. “Bringing Together Reading and Writing: An Experimental Study of Writing Intensive Reading Comprehension in Low-Performing Urban Elementary Schools.” Reading Research Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 3, July 2017, pp. 311–332. 20, November 2018. EBSCOhost. Web.
- Franklin, Sharon, and Eugene, OR. Visions for Learning. “A Focus on Writing in Social Science.” Writing Notebook, vol. 10, no. 1, Oct. 1992. 19. November 2018. EBSCOhost. Web.
- Nyoman Yasa Yasa, et al. “Critical Reading and Writing across the Curriculum Assisted by Metacognitive Strategy (Bts) toward Student Study Club at Undiksha.” Bahasa Dan Seni: Jurnal Bahasa, Sastra, Seni, Dan Pengajarannya, Vol 44, Iss 1 (2016), no. 1, 2016. 19, November 2018. EBSCOhost. Web.
- Waldman, Cheryl, and Kent J. Crippen. “Integrating interactive notebooks.” The Science Teacher 76.1 (2009): 51. 19, November 2018. Web.
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