Connecting Composing Strategies, Digital Literacies, and Disciplinary Content to the Common Core
12. The Writing Runaround: Using Explicit Instruction to Teach Ideas and Organization through Modeled Writing (Fourth Grade)
MARY VIRGINIA FEGER
Every writing lesson began with the lively voices of Mrs. Miller’s fourth graders singing “Write, Right!” to the tune of “Runaround Sue” (DiMucci & Maresca, 1961). The students seemed to enjoy the opportunity to stand up, perform the dance routine, and sing along to the cheery melody. Yet, the memorized steps and words positioned the students to produce writing that was artificially constrained by high-stakes testing. Does routinized writing instruction empower students with the academic advantage of learning to write for success, or does it limit their literacy access to learning the five-paragraph essay, a genre that is only used in school?