Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Writing Research Says

What does the writing research say about writing in the reading classroom?

In the "Writing to Read" research by Carnegie Corporation of New York, there have been some recommendations on how writing can help students read.

Here are some of the recommendations for strengthening reading through writing:

1. Have students write about the texts they read.(moderate effect based on 11 studies).
- have students writing personal reactions, interpreting the text( Significant effect on reading comprehension based on 9 studies)
- write summaries (Moderate effect based on 11 studies).
- take notes (Moderate effect based on 22 studies).

2. Increase the time in which students write. ( Low effect based on 6 studies).
-daily writing is recommended

3. Teach students the skills needed to write.
-teach text structures, sentence construction skills (Low effect based on 17 studies).
-teach spelling skills (Very high effect based on 9 studies).

According to the research, the most effective activities that increase reading comprehension are writing personal reactions to text. Examples of this would be open-ended journal entries where students make connections to the text, make predictions, tell why they think characters acted the way they did, and where students write about what they would do in a similar situation.

The second most effective activity is teaching spelling skills. According to the research, this helps with fluency and word recognition. These spelling skills should be taught through word work and learning word families.

So, what do you think? Do these findings surprise you? Will you change your teaching or do you already do these activities? Discuss in the comments below.



  1. WoW! I am actually somewhat surprised by this research...especially with with pull away from text-to-self questions with common core and more of a focus on text based questions. Makes you wonder...

    I also wanted to say thank you again for letting me link up with your blog (TpT forum) I really enjoy reading your blog and would like to nominate you for the Liebster Award. This award serves as a way to recognize new up and coming teacher blogs. Head over to my blog to find out more!

    The Applicious Teacher

  2. Agree 100% in both cases!!!I don't have to change my teaching as I already incorporate open response journals, spelling families and word work activities into my 6th grade classroom.

    Thank you