Qualities of Powerful Essay Writing Institute Grades 3-6

Sunday, October 7 - Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Grade: 3-6
Featuring: Lucy Calkins, Annie Taranto, Mike Ochs, and Mary Chiarella

Learning to master the essay is the important step that young people need to make as they enter the upper elementary years. It is essential that students learn to write well-crafted, idea-based pieces with fluidity. This institute will share the Project’s breakthrough new work on the topic.

All too often, when students write essays, they read like cookie cutter, prefabricated pieces, and students sacrifice voice, verve, and originality. To combat that, you’ll learn ways to teach your students the power of writing to learn. Y ou’ ll want to help your students explore important topics through this genre, and write with thoughtfulness. Y ou’ ll explore ways students can use their writers notebooks to generate topics with more courage, and to develop their ideas prior to drafting.

You will also get help teaching students to write tightly structured essays. Your students will benefit from “talking in essays” as doing so will put them at ease with academic language, transitions, the structures of claims, reasons and supports, and other elements of successful essa y writing . Y ou’ ll especially hear about supporting students to craft thesis statements with strong, parallel supports.

Then too, you’ll help students revise their essays. As part of this, you’ll show them that their form and design will evolve; their meaning will become clear as they work with their text.

The institute will help you understand the trajectory of essay writing development so that you can gauge where a young writer is in that progression and intercede in ways that help the writer make progress. You’ll become adept at assessing your opinion writers using the Learning Progressions, and at enabling your students to also use tools to self- assess, set goals, and create action plans for themselves. You’ll also learn how to lead productive conferences and small groups with your students around common essay writing challenges such as idea development, essay structures, and elaboration.

You’ll leave the institute equipped with specific strategies, tips, and tools designed to support you in teaching your students to craft well structured, thoughtful essays, to self-assess their writing, and set and meet goals.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY