You are on page 1of 42

Elaboration: Strategic Teaching

To Improve Student Writing


in Grades 3 - 5
OSPI Elementary Instructional Support Materials for Writing
These materials were developed by
Washington teachers to help students improve their writing.

On the OSPI Website


Version 1 February 2007

Copyright 2007 Wash

To the Teacher

Slides 1-11 are for teacher use. They include alignment with the GLEs, links to
the WASL, and purpose of the units. Thereafter, the slides are meant for the
students. The teacher directions are in the notes. You must download this
PowerPoint to print notes.

To use any unit, you must print and review the notes pages for the unit. This is
done in the print menu. It is different for PCs and Macs, but you will need to find
Notes Pages or Notes respectively in the print menu.The notes pages
contain crucial instructions and supplementary materials for successful
implementation.

Most of these units include partner and/or group work. A system needs to be in
place for partner and group work (e.g., what are the rules and expectations).
Units in these modules need to have extended practice. They are not meant to
be individual, one day lessons.

Copyright 2007 Wash

OSPI Writing Instructional Support Materials


Elementary Core Development Team
Nikki Elliott-Schuman - OSPI, Project Director
Charlotte Carr - Retired Seattle SD, Facilitator
Tanya Cicero - Auburn SD
Lydia-Laquatra Fesler - Spokane SD
Sharon Schilperoort - OSPI, Writing Assessment TOSA
Cec Carmack - Selah SD
Nancy Spane - Puyallup SD
Karen Kearns - Seattle SD

Copyright 2007 Wash

Purpose

To share teaching strategies that will


help students develop writing that
elaborates a single idea and addresses
the needs and interests of a particular
audience.

Elaboration is critical for clear and


effective writing.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Alignment with GLEs - Writing

EALR 3. The student writes clearly and effectively.

Component 3.1.1 Develops ideas and organizes writing.


GLE 3.1.1 - 3rd Grade

GLE 3.1.1 - 4th Grade

GLE 3.1.1 - 5th Grade

Analyzes ideas, selects topic, adds


detail, and elaborates.
Selects from a wide range of
topics (e.g., friendship, volcanoes).
Maintains focus on specific topic.
Provides details and/or support
(e.g., examples, descriptions,
reasons).
Uses personal experience and
observation to support ideas.
Develops characters, setting, and
events in narratives.
Selects appropriate title for a piece
of writing.

Analyzes ideas, selects a narrow


topic, and elaborates using specific
details and/or examples.
Narrows topic (e.g., from general
topic, such as pets, to specific
topic, such as My dog is smart.).
Selects details relevant to the
topic to elaborate (e.g., adds detail
to each main point using more than
one sentence; uses specific words
and phrases, reasons, anecdotes,
facts, descriptions, and examples).
Uses personal experiences,
observations, and/or research to
support opinions and ideas (e.g.,
collects, organizes, and uses data
to support conclusions in math,
science, or social studies).
Develops character, setting, and
events within plot when writing a
narrative.

Analyzes ideas, selects a narrow


topic, and elaborates using specific
details and/or examples
Narrows topic with controlling idea
(e.g., from general topic, such as
baseball, to specific topic, such as
The Mariners are my favorite
baseball team.).
Selects details relevant to the
topic to extend ideas and develop
elaboration (e.g., specific words
and phrases, reasons, anecdotes,
facts, descriptions, examples).
Uses personal experiences,
observations, and research to
support opinions and ideas (e.g.,
data relevant to the topic to
support conclusions in math,
science, or social studies;
appropriate anecdotes to explain
or persuade).
Varies method of developing
character (e.g., dialogue) and
setting (e.g., through the eyes of a
character) in narratives.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Alignment with GLEs Writing


continued
EALR 3. The student writes clearly and effectively.
Component 3.2 Uses appropriate style.
GLE 3.2.2 - 3rd grade

GLE 3.2.2 - 4th grade

GLE 3.2.2 - 5th grade

Uses language appropriate for a


specific audience and purpose.
Selects specific words (e.g.,
hollered vs. said) and
specialized vocabulary (e.g.,
transparent vs. clear).
Selects interesting and
effective words from various
sources (e.g., multicultural
literature, television,
environmental print, cultural
background).
Uses literary devices (e.g.,
onomatopoeia, alliteration).

Uses language appropriate for a


specific audience and purpose.

Uses language appropriate for a


specific audience and purpose.

Uses precise words (e.g., vivid


verbs screeched, hovered,
absorbed; specific nouns
granite, longhouse, cedar).
Uses specialized vocabulary in
informational writing (e.g.,
tessellate, parallelogram, butte,
carbohydrate).
Uses literary and sound
devices (e.g., similes,
personification, alliteration).

Uses precise language (e.g.,


powerful verbs, specific
descriptors).
Uses formal, informal, and
specialized language (e.g.,
photosynthesis, ratio, expedition)
appropriate for audience and
purpose.
Uses literary and sound devices
(e.g., similes, personification,
rhythm).
Selects words for effect.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Alignment with GLEs


Across the Curriculum
Reading
2.2.1 Understands sequence in informational/expository text and
literary/narrative text. (3rd/4th)
2.2.1 Applies understanding to time, order, and/or sequence to
comprehend text. (5th)
2.2.3 Understands story elements. (3rd)
2.2.3 Understands and analyze story elements. (4th/5th)
2.4.5 Understands how to generalize from a text. (3rd/4th)
2.4.5 Understands how to extend information beyond the text to another
text or to a broader idea or concept by generalizing. (5th)

Copyright 2007 Wash

Alignment with GLEs


Across the Curriculum
Science

Math
2.1.1 Analyzes a situation to
define a problem.
3.1.1 Analyzes information
presented in familiar
situations.
3.2.2 Applies the skills of
drawing conclusions and
supports the conclusions with
evidence.

2.1.3 Understands how to conduct


a reasonable explanation
using evidence.
2.1.5 Understands how to report
investigations and
explanations of objects,
events, systems, and
processes.
3.1.3 Analyzes how well a design
or a product solves a problem.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Elaboration during Science

Copyright 2007 Washington OSPI

Link to the WASL

The quality of elaboration is directly related to scores on


the Content, Organization, and Style portion of the Writing
WASL. The best writing has multiple layers of relevant
elaboration.

When WASL papers were analyzed, specific layered


elaboration was the most critical element that
differentiated between scores of 2 and 3 and scores of
3 and 4.

Thoughtful elaboration is guided by the needs of the


audience. Top scoring WASL papers show clear audience
awareness.
Source: WASL scoring team, OSPI Standards Review Committee report

Copyright 2007 Wash

Bibliography

Calkins, L. Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5,


Heinemann, 2006.

Gere, A., Christenbury, L., Sassi, K. Writing on Demand,


Heinemann, 2005.

Graves, D. A Fresh Look at Writing, Heinemann, 1998.

Routman, R. Writing Essentials, Heinemann, 2005.

Zemelman, S., Daniels, H., Hyde, A. Best Practice: New Standards


for Teaching and Learning in Americas Schools, Third edition,
Heinemann, 2005.

OSPI website Grade 4 Writing Anchor Set Annotations

www.k12.wa.us/curriculuminstruct/writing/annotations/4gradAnnotations.aspx

Copyright 2007 Wash

Elaboration Units
Table of Contents

Defining Elaboration - slides 13-17

Using Questions to Elaborate - slides 18-29

Layering vs. Listing - slides 30-40

Copyright 2007 Wash

DEFINING ELABORATION

Copyright 2007 Wash

Definition of Elaboration
Elaboration means to tell the reader more
about an idea using

Answers to a readers questions

Specific words

Onion-like layering of detail

Specific strategies, such as reasons,


examples, definitions, descriptions,
and anecdotes
Copyright 2007 Wash

To Elaborate, You Need To


Dig,
Dig,
Dig!
Copyright 2007 Wash

Elaboration - example one


This paragraph has little elaboration.
These are the things you need to know
about being in fourth grade.
First the work will be a lot harder. You
will have to name solids and do lots of
math work. Next you will have to do
writing assignments.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Elaboration - example two


This paragraph has interesting
elaboration.
I want to tell you about what type of
projects youll have to do. Two things are
dissecting a salmon and an owl pellet. An
owl pellet is mostly like a fur ball. Its
something an owl chokes up after eating a
large meal. You get my drift?
Copyright 2007 Wash

Using Questions to Elaborate

Copyright 2007 Wash

Questions the Audience (Reader)


Might Ask
All kids have problems.
What problems?

Copyright 2007 Wash

Questions the Audience (Reader)


Might Ask
All kids have problems. For example,
kids dont always get what they want.
Hmmm . . .what do
kids want?

Copyright 2007 Wash

Questions the Audience (Reader)


Might Ask
All kids have problems. For example,
kids dont always get what they want,
like staying up late.
Why
Ohnow
is notI being
understand.
able to
Kids
stay want
up late
to astay
problem?
up late.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Using Questions for Elaboration


Think of ways to answer the question,
Why is not being able to stay up as late
as you want a problem for you?
Discuss with a partner possible answers.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Readers Questions
Did this writer answer the readers
questions?
I have nice friends. They make me
laugh and they teach me things at
recess. My friends are Jay, Emily, Ann,
and Andy. They taught me how to do
tricks on the bars.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Questions Asked by the Writer


I have nice friends.
What makes them nice?

They make me laugh and they


teach me things at recess.
Who are your friends and what do they
teach you?

My friends are Jay, Emily, Ann, and


Andy. They taught me how to do
tricks on the bars.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Readers Questions
Did this writer answer the readers
questions?
When I learned how to roller skate, I was only
five years old. My mom taught me how to
roller skate, but she kept on falling down.
Soon I was the best roller skater in my family.
And when I went on a field trip in second
grade to Roller Valley, almost everyone was
falling down.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Questions Not Answered by


the Writer
When I learned how to roller skate, I was
only five years old. My mom taught me how
to roller skate, but she kept on falling down.
Then how did you learn?
Soon I was the best roller skater in my family.
So how did this happen?
And when I went on a field trip in second grade to
Roller Valley, almost everyone was falling down.
What does this have to do with learning?
How does it tie to your learning to skate?
Copyright 2007 Wash

Readers Questions
I like it when it rains.
Lets finish writing this paragraph
together by thinking about what the
reader would ask and answering the
readers questions.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Readers Questions
I like when it snows.
You are now going to get a chance to
finish writing this paragraph with a
partner. Think about what the reader
would ask and then answer the
readers questions.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Using Questions for Elaboration your turn


_____ makes a good pet.

Using this statement, think about what


questions the audience might ask.

Write several sentences that elaborate and


answer the questions you think the
audience might ask.
Copyright 2007 Wash

LAYERING vs. LISTING

Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering Elaboration
A thoughtful writer layers one sentence after
another.
Each new sentence adds to or develops the
thought like rings around a bulls-eye.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering Elaboration
Each idea is carefully
stacked on the next
like bricks in a wall
or rings on a tall tree.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering Elaboration
Every sentence and detail fits with the
rest of the topic like a set of nesting dolls.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering vs. Listing

You and a partner will receive an


envelope.

Take the yellow sentence strips out of


the envelope and put them in the order
you think they should be arranged.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering vs. Listing

Now take the red sentence strips out of


the envelope and put them in the order
you think they should be arranged.

Copyright 2007 Wash

Listing
My bracelet is special to me. The
bracelet means a lot to me because it
gives me good memories of my friend.
And because it is very special to me.
Its special in another way. It gives me
good luck. Thats why my bracelet is
special to me.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering
My bracelet is the object that means the most to
me. It means a lot because my bracelet brings
me good luck. It brought me luck on the first day I
went to my new school. When I entered my
classroom I saw a girl with a bracelet just like
mine. Her name was Talli. Now we are best
friends and we wear our bracelets wherever we
go. When I wear it, I think of all of fun times Talli
and I have had and it reminds me that I have a
great friend.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering

Read the following topic sentence.


Together we will add sentences that
develop the topic by layering.
Remember that each sentence must
build on the previous one.
The field trip was fantastic.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering

Read the following topic sentence.


With a partner take turns adding
sentences that develop the topic by
layering.
Dessert is my favorite part of the meal.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Layering - your turn

Read the following topic sentence.

Write a paragraph and practice adding


sentences that develop the main idea by
layering. The subject (in the blank) can
be anything (rain, homework, my pet,
commercials, etc.), but it cant be a
person.
________is very annoying.
Copyright 2007 Wash

Coming Soon ~
2007 Summer Institutes

Elaboration Module

Using Precise Language to Elaborate


Using Reasons to Elaborate
Using Examples to Elaborate
Using Definitions to Elaborate
Using Description to Elaborate
Using Anecdotes to Elaborate
Show, Don't Tell
Recognizing Elaboration
Criteria for Assessment

Prewriting Module
Copyright 2007 Wash

Feedback, please
We welcome your comments.
Please feel free to try these lessons and
send feedback to Nikki Elliott-Schuman at
Nikki.elliottschuman@k12.wa.us.
We appreciate your labeling the subject line
as Feedback: OSPI Instructional Support
Materials.
Copyright 2007 Wash