This Unit Plan is intended as a writing "boot camp." In my experience, many 6th graders arrive in middle school with good reading and comprehension skills, but limited writing ability. Often, they have never written an essay. My 6th grade Language Arts class requires students to write at least three essays over the course of the year, so I decided that it would be worthwhile to invest a significant amount of time and effort at the beginning of the year to ensure that all of my Language Arts students had access to the same training and expectations. This Unit Plan is the product of two years of trial and error using the 6 +1 Traits of Writing book, and it assumes that any teacher using it will have access to 6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, by Ruth Culham. The book is available on Ms. Culham's website: www.culhamwriting.com.
This Unit Plan is intensive, both for the students and for the teacher, but it means that when itís time for my students to write an essay or take a writing assessment, they have the necessary skills and confidence to do well.