Writing Developmental Checklist— Grade 4

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Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Communication: Content, Purpose, Voice, Audience, and OrganizationBehaviours and StrategiesPrompts w rites for a wide range of purposesand audiences; uses a variety offorms (e.g., a shape poem fora poet’s café session, an e-mailrequesting information about awildlife habitat project, a poster toannounce a book sale) W hy did you choose to write apoem/letter/article/report/story? Why are you sending this postcard/e-mail/letter? Who are you trying to persuade? Did you write this book recommen dation with anyone in mind? Will this explanation be helpful forsomeone? Who will enjoy this story? o ften establishes an appropriatevoice that engages the reader andfits the purpose for writing (e.g.,adopts a persuasive tone whenwriting a brochure to convincepeople to recycle, and a humoroustone when writing a note to a friend) I like the way you gave good reasonsfor your views. Your tone is verypersuasive too. This story in your letter will makeyour friend laugh. I like the wayyou kept asking yourself questionsas you told it. ‘Well, what do youthink I did next?’ and ‘Why did Ithink of that?’ It almost sounds like aconversation you had with yourself. If you are writing down the steps tomake the calendar, how would youdo it? Talk through the steps withme. Remember to keep each stepshort and clear when you write itdown as readers need to follow yourinstructions. Tell your buddy your opinion about.Now write it down. If you are writing a letter requestinginformation, you would use a moreformal voice. It wouldn’t be chattylike writing to a friend. d emonstrates knowledge of a widerange of text types and decideswhich is appropriate for a particularwriting purpose often includes the characteristics ofeach text type in written accounts(e.g., characters, setting, problem,events, climax, and resolution ina narrative, and a statement of aviewpoint plus supporting reasonsand persuasive language in apersuasive account) Y ou’ve decided to write a reportabout.What will you include in yourplan? If you write a journal of yourobservations, what will it looklike? Will you include pictures anddiagrams? You’ve included the characters,problem, and events, but now youare struggling to think of a climaxand resolution to your story. Could you include an opinion pollwith your report? That would fit withwhat you often find in magazinearticles. You’ve stated your opinion well.Now I think your readers will want toknow your reasons.16 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.Observations(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Communication: Content, Purpose, Voice, Audience, and Organization (cont.)Behaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations u ses a wide range of forms ofwriting (e.g., reports, poems,instructions, stories, scripts) anddecides which is appropriate for thepurpose and audience I like the way you made your minireport into a brochure. It works wellas an informational brochure. You chose a postcard to give yourfriend an idea of what you saw atFort Edmonton. Making a play script of the story is agood idea if you want to produce adrama to show the class. i nitiates own writing projects for avariety of purposes (e.g., writing astory to share with the class duringself-selected writing, jotting downnotes about a topic of personalinterest, and making a poster toadvertise a soccer tournament) Y ou’ve got a good reason for writingyour poem if you want to describewhat you felt and saw in that windstorm. Making a list of what you needwould help you get the materialstogether. Taking notes about the informationyou wanted to find out aboutsnowmobiles is a good idea. I like your rough plan of theheadings you’ll use on the chart. c hooses an ever-expanding range oftopics often seeks appropriate researchresources for the topic and purpose(e.g., interviews a classmate, checksinformation in a book or on awebsite) Y ou chose to write a report oneagles last time, so I’m glad you arepicking a completely different topicnow.a report on snowmobiles is agood idea I know you like writing fantasystories, but why don’t you try towrite a mystery story or an adventurestory this time? You’ve checked out a couple ofbooks on snowmobiles, and nowyou are using a website to gain somemore information. Great, you’ve alsogot some brochures from the localdealership. m akes written responses to literatureusing a variety of forms (e.g. letters,plays, poems, reader responsejournals, book recommendations) W hy not try a poem or a poster thistime? Check out the reader responseideas you have in your Reader’sNotebook. If you two have read the same book,maybe you could jot down yourideas in your Reader’s Notebookand then have a book conversationtogether and talk about what youliked and didn’t like, and whatpuzzled you.(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.17

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Communication: Content, Purpose, Voice, Audience, and Organization (cont.)Behaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations r ecords and explains observationsin science experiments and otheractivities that require observationalrecords; provides accompanyingillustrations. (Will need support inoutlining the process and setting upheadings.) Y ou’ve done an opinion poll onrecycling. How will you fit it intoyour report? You could make a sequenced stripof pictures to show the stages of theplant’s growth. That would help youorganize your observations. e xpresses and justifies a viewpoint often provides evidence to supportthe opinion (may need reminders) M ake sure you give reasons for youropinion. You’ve given some convincingreasons to support your viewpoint. o rganizes and sequences informationappropriately. (May need supportfrom graphic organizers and teacherstudent conferences to organizelonger pieces of writing.) T ry using a sequence organizer tohelp you organize all the steps youhave in this recipe. You’ve plotted out some of theheadings for your report. You areplanning on an introduction tointroduce your topic. Then you’vewritten, ‘What are snowmobiles?’and ‘Where do you use them?.nowmaybe I’d want to know about costor snowmobile events. Look throughyour notes for other possible partsfor your report. d evelops an idea or topic into acomplete and detailed account N ow you have your plan for apersuasive letter on the organizer,what’s the next stage? You followed through all the stagesof writing (planning, drafting,revising, editing, and publishing).Well done. What did you learn fornext time? d evelops a complete and logicalplot for a narrative with characters,settings, a problem, events, and aresolution is able to construct a narrative(e.g., realistic, fantasy) and one thatfollows a more traditional form (e.g.,pourquoi tale, myth) (Will needsupport to develop awareness ofdifferences.) Y ou have a lot of characters herebecause I think you wanted toinclude all of your friends’ names.I’d think about cutting down thenumber of characters so that eachone has an important part in theplot. Write about your other friendsanother time. Could you add some more detailsabout the setting to build up aclearer picture of where the story istaking place? Your pourquoi tale tells us whyleaves drop in the fall. I like the wayyou have reminded us of that in theconclusion.(continued next page)18 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Communication: Content, Purpose, Voice, Audience, and Organization (cont.)Behaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations w rites reports in paragraphs,integrating research from severalsources, and presents ideas withsupporting illustrations publishes reports with accompanyingtables of contents, captions forillustrations, charts, diagrams,photos, and maybe a glossary R emember, if you change topics, youneed to start a new paragraph. Let’slook at the first page of your reportand think about paragraphs. Your illustrations really highlightimportant parts in your text. I like theway the pictures explain ideas andobjects that may be unfamiliar toreaders. A Table of Contents helps yourreaders find information in yourreport. Try and build one thatincludes your main headings.Language StructureBehaviours and StrategiesPrompts u ses a variety of sentence structures(simple, compound, and complex)within each account is beginning to use sentence typesto match the purpose and audiencefor writing (e.g., short, eye-catchingsentences on a poster, and longer,descriptive sentences to describe acharacter in a story) C an you join these two ideastogether to make a longer sentence? It’s a good idea to vary the lengthof your sentences. It can make yourwriting more interesting. Short phrases and sentences on achart make it more eye-catching andeasier to read. u ses first- and third-personconsistently and appropriately tofit the text structure, purpose, andaudience U sing a first-person ‘I’ voice for yourpersuasive account really works asyou speak directly to your readers. When people write reports theyusually write he/she/they becausethey aren’t writing about themselves.Let’s see what the author of thisbook on video games does. u ses appropriate key words to relateto text structures and forms (e.g.,‘compared to,’ ‘in contrast,’ ‘onthe other hand’ for a compare andcontrast report; ‘Dear ’, ‘WithBest Wishes,’ for a letter) I like the way that you signalled to areader that you are comparing andcontrasting in your report. Those keywords, ‘compared to,’ ‘in contrast,’‘but,’ and ‘on the other hand’ sendthe message clearly. uses age-appropriate grammar ‘ He saw the accident’ rather than,‘He seen it.’ ‘She would have no butter on herbread’ rather than, ‘She would ofno butter on her bread.’ (Modellingis more effective than corrections.Modelling will transfer eventuallyinto the student’s oral language andconsequently into writing.)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support GuideObservations 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.(continued next page)19

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Language Structure (continued)Behaviours and StrategiesPrompts m aintains tense consistency withonly occasional support required Y ou said in the first sentence thatthe truck was speeding downthe road and stopped at the gasstation. Then you say the driver getsgas. Do you want to write this in thepast tense (a journey in the truckthat happened in the past) or in thepresent? That decision will make adifference to how you write your verbs. u ses paragraphs sometimes starts each paragraphwith a main idea and addssupporting details. (Needs supportfrom mini-lessons and conferences.) I n your report, you write about thefamily life of wolves and also thefood they eat. A new paragraphwould be better here to show youchanged the topic. Are all your ideas in this paragraphabout the cost of skateboards? Doyou have any extra ideas or ideasthat don’t fit your topic? It’s a good idea to write an importantidea in the first sentence andthen support that idea with othersentences that give more details. u ses appropriate connectivesbetween sentences. (May needsupport to increase variety.) T ry for variety in the words you useto connect two ideas. This sentencesays, ‘He got up early and he hadsome time to eat breakfast.’ Couldyou connect your ideas withoutusing ‘and’? What if you started yoursentence with ‘When.’? w rites in jot notes but may needsome support to use the formconsistently J ot notes are often phrases andwords. They are quick notes so wedon’t use whole sentences. You could underline the big ideasand use bullets for each of yoursupporting facts. u ses dialogue when appropriate recognizes the difference betweendialogue in accounts and scripts T he dragon is speaking here, so let’suse quotation marks to show that. Do you notice something differentabout speech we use in stories andspeech in plays? u ses a range of appropriate verbs,adverbs, and adjectives to enhancethe descriptive power of writtenwork is beginning to use figurativelanguage (e.g., similes to developatmosphere and mood) I like your verbs (action words). Theyadd some power to your description. Maybe you could use somedescribing words (adjectives) to saywhat the ice hotel looked like. Can you compare this action.’ran’with something else to make it moreinteresting, such as ‘ran as fast as.’20 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.Observations(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Writing ProcessPlanning and ResearchingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations g enerates ideas for writing usingvarious strategies (e.g., keeping atopic list, brainstorming, formulatingquestions, mind mapping) I see you’ve jotted down some ideasfrom our class list. Can you adda few topics that are of personalinterest to you? I can see you are writing down somequestions you have about your topic.That’s a good start in planning. Keep your list of possible topics upto date so that you always haveseveral to pick from. t alks over ideas with a variety ofpeople; may interview or surveypeople to do research shares plans orally with others andsometimes modifies plans based onfeedback T alk over your topic lists with yourbuddies and see if they have anysuggestions. Decide on the people you think youneed to interview for your opinionpoll. Now you have an idea for your nexttopic, talk over your rough planswith your writing group. m akes written plans (may use agraphic organizer) plans demonstrate a basicorganization that can be used toguide writing I t’s a good idea to map out yourideas on an organizer. You canlist your viewpoint and your mainreasons on the persuasion writingorganizer. You do need to plan poems indifferent ways. It’s a good idea towrite down phrases, key words,images, and sounds, and to decidewhat kind of poem you are going towrite. You have your headings on cards.Now can you sort them into theorder that you want to use whenyou are drafting? g athers information from a varietyof sources (e.g., CDs, interviews,books, articles, websites, onlineencyclopedias) Y ou have some ideas from books.Can you gather ideas from otherplaces? Which books/brochures/ websites/videos, could help you? Do you know any experts on thistopic? Maybe you could interviewthem.(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.21

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Writing Process (continued)Planning and ResearchingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations m akes jot notes to record researchfindings uses other tools for recordinginformation (e.g., a tape recorder, asurvey and tally sheet, responses to aquiz, mind maps) R emember you don’t need to writedown whole sentences.just enoughimportant words and phrases toremind you about the informationyou found. Make a chart so that you can addup the votes easily on your opinionpoll. It would be a good idea to writeyour question at the top. o rganizes research information intosub-topics sequences sub-topics (Will needsome support to organize andsequence sub-topics.) S ort your cards (sticky notes/paperstrips) into smaller topics now. Puttogether ideas that go together. You have your big headings. Makesure you sort your note strips underthe appropriate headings. When they are sorted underheadings, you can read the notestrips and put them in order.Sometimes it doesn’t matter whichidea goes first, but sometimes it’sreally important.DraftingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations p repares a first draft with or withoutan organizer: the draft has anorganizational structure (May needsupport in clarifying some aspect oforganization and sequencing.) T he most important thing is to getyour ideas down on paper when youare drafting. Use your plan to guide you. Your notes will provide some detailson the next part.RevisingBehaviours and StrategiesPrompts a dds, deletes, and substitutes ideaswith occasional prompts T ry reading your writing out loudto yourself (and then to somebodyelse). Then you can hear if it makessense. Is there anything that needs to beadded? Did you put in some extra detailsthat you don’t really need to makeyour point? Is everything you wrote about yourtopic? Do you think it would help to includea diagram here?22 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.Observations(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Writing Process (continued)RevisingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations i s aware of the importance ofword choice and sometimes makesrevisions to consider word selections I s there a more descriptive word than‘happy’ here? Think about your word choices.Are they the best words you coulduse? Maybe focus on the verbs.Could other verbs describe what’shappening better? r evises ideas with a buddy orindependently (with supportavailable, if needed) W hat part did your buddy/writinggroup like? Did he/she/they suggestany changes? Use the revising checklist to guideyou.EditingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations c hecks spellings and word choicesusing class resources (e.g., the WordResource Wall, books read, charts,a print or online dictionary, and athesaurus) U nderline your doubtful spellings.Then you can check them in thedictionary. Check that word on the WordResource Wall. Check the thesaurus for anotherword that means the same thing as‘wonderful.’ A bit of variety makesyour writing more interesting. c hecks punctuation conventions(e.g., capitals, periods, questionmarks, exclamation marks, dialogue,apostrophes for possessives andcontractions); may need supportwith the finer points of dialogue andapostrophes H ave you checked your punctuationat the ends of your sentences? We’ll meet in a writing group to talkabout the punctuation you need forspeech. u ses a proofreading guide withminimal support U se the editing checklist and takeone item at a time. First check yoursentence endings, etc.Publishing and SharingBehaviours and StrategiesForm selects texts to be published frompersonal writing collectionPromptsObservations W hy did you choose this piece ofwriting? You chose a report last time. Itwould be a good idea to choose adifferent kind of writing.(continued next page)Moving Up with Literacy Place – Grade 4 Literacy Support Guide 2008 Scholastic Canada Ltd.23

Writing Developmental Checklist —Grade 4Student’s Name:Date:Writing Process (continued)Publishing and SharingBehaviours and StrategiesPromptsObservations u ses legible handwriting or a clearfont and spatial organization on thecomputer R emember to make your writingreally clear as other people will bereading your published work. c hecks that text has appropriatevisual features (e.g., illustrations,table of contents, glossary) L eave room for your captions that gowith your illustrations. Are you going to colour highlight orunderline words to show people theycan find them in your glossary? p ublishes writing in a variety ofways (e.g., oral presentation, books,charts, posters, brochures) M aybe your report on how toplay soccer could be made into apamphlet. What are you thinking? Your poster will catch people’sattention in the hallway.(reinforcement) Practise reading your writing to abuddy before you share it with theclass. Thank you for sharing your writing. Ireally liked. What did everyone elselike?ConventionsFor

advertise a soccer tournament) chooses an ever-expanding range of topics often seeks appropriate research . is beginning to use figurative language (e.g., similes to develop atmosphere and mood) Prompts You said in the first sentence that the truck was speeding down the road and stopped at the gas

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