Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hallwarts School of Writing

We are getting ready for the" MCAS Long Composition" in a couple of weeks.  We have had two practice days as a grade level and over the next two weeks I am reviewing the six traits of writing and empowering writers. (plus many months of writing practice) I don't want to burn out my students so I was inspired by something fun that I saw on Writing Fix  I tweaked her lesson!  We are going to spend the week at "The Hallwarts School of Writing." 

Click on the image:
First, I reviewed the 6 traits of writing by creating anchor charts with my students and using the posters from  I did one trait a day and had the kids do that step in the writing process.
I used the Fourth Grade MCAS prompt from last Year.  Write about a special memory of a teacher, a funny memory, something your teacher taught you, a field trip or a time that your teacher made you feel proud.

Day 1- Ideas (Brainstorming)
Day 2- Organization (organization)
Day 3- Voice and Word Choice (Drafting)
Day 4- Sentence Fluency (revising)
Day 5- Conventions (Editing)

I continued going over these  6 Traits of Writing at the "Hallwarts School of Writing." I put the 6 areas of writing cards into my sorting hat and had the children each draw a trait.  The child read over their final draft and identified where and how they used that trait.  The children became the experts on that trait and highlighted the skill. I had each group use a specific color marker. (The teacher could assign the traits prior to the activity but I am going to take my chances with the luck of the draw)

I took pictures of each child with their trait hat.  (for those with the dreaded bug problems...I cover each head with paper towels for pictures)  I found a star border at Walmart.

I even downloaded some musical scores from the Harry Potter movies to play while the children worked on their writing.  The children enjoyed their magical week!


  1. Hi Kelly, I love, love, love, your "Hallwarts" writing prompt!!! I too am getting my fourth graders ready for the assessment!! Thanks for the idea! I also wanted to give you a little award! I love your blog and the wonderful ideas you post! You rock!!! Hop on over to my blog to receive it!!! Congrats!

    One Teacher's Take

  2. I absolutely LOVE this idea!!! Consider it stolen and tweaked! Fantastic!

    Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

  3. What a great idea to get students interested in writing! Who doesn't love Harry Potter?
    Patti :)
    A Series of 3rd Grade Events

  4. This is just great!! Your friends look like they loved it.