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WritingFix Project: Families Writing Together
meaningful writing tasks for students to complete with parents and family

This on-line project's essential question: How can we better bridge the gap between home and school through meaningful writing assignments that involve students and their families?

Parents must take an interest in their children's school work, and when you assign a meaningful writing assignment that requires families to sit, talk, perhaps even do the writing together, discoveries are made. At WritingFix, we value these discoveries, and this on-line project is our collection of techniques we use to get families talking about writing.

On this page at WritingFix, we feature two types of "Family Writing Projects."

First, we feature several lessons created by one of our favorite teachers in Northern Nevada, Kim Polson, who has created a number of assignments designed to be completed between students and their parents.

Second, we feature ideas and activities for hosting a "Family Writing Night" at your school, which is a popular activity hosted at many local schools here in Northern Nevada. These lessons have been posted by NNWP Consultant, Julie Leimbach, who creates a climate of family literacy at the elementary school where she works.

This page is one of our current projects, which means it is growing all the time. Check back with this page often. It is going to grow!

Join the WritingFix Family of Teachers. If you have a lesson or activity that you use to bridge the gap between school and home, consider writing it up (as step-by-step instructions) and sending it to us to publish for other teachers to use. If we post it at this page, we'll happily send you one of the NNWP's Print Resources for your classroom as our thanks for your generosity! Contact us at webmaster@writingfix.com, if you're interested in this offer.

On the NNWP's bookshelf...

Bridging School and Home Through Family Nights

On the NNWP's bookshelf...

Writing with Families

Take-Home Writing Lessons for Students & Parents:

A Northern Nevada School Focuses on Family Writing

Hello, my name is Kim Polson, and I am the author of the three lessons you can find below.  In my fifth-grade classroom, I often require my students to interact with their families as part of writing assignments. I believe some of the best writing my students do is from this type of assignment, and I am confident that I am positively affecting my students' relationships with their family members. I began this project at the WritingFix website in 2007, and my hope is that my three lessons will inspire other teachers to share similar lessons, so that we can create a dynamic collection of lessons that ask students to write alongside their parents.

I posted these lessons, hoping other teachers would write-up and share some of their best take-home writing assignments. If you have an idea you would consider sharing, please take a look at our Proposal Form. We'll send you a free NNWP Publication for your classroom, if your proposal is accepted. Send proposals to webmaster@writingfix.com.

Hello, my name is Julie Leimbach; I am the writing coach for first - fifth grades at my school in Sparks, Nevada. Classroom teachers at my school are making a great effort to bridge the gap between the classroom our students' families. There are great lessons that assist in accomplishing that goal, like Kim's featured lessons at left.

I am trying to take family literacy one step further by creating a whole family experience with the staff at my school. Below, I have included lessons that I have used at various Family Writing Nights. These lessons are designed to accomodate both English and Spanish-speaking families. I am posting my lessons, hoping that other teachers out there will be encouraged to share their own successful family writing lessons. If you have a lesson or idea that you would consider sharing, please take a look at our Proposal Form. We’ll send you a free NNWP Publication for your classroom, if your proposal is accepted. Please send your proposals to webmaster@writingfix.com.

Kim's Family Take-Home Writing Lesson #1:
A Personal Timeline

A School-wide Project sponsored by Julie at her School
Silver Pen Award

Project overview: The students will create personal timelines representing key events that have happened in their lives. Together with their parents, they will have a chance to recount the important life-shaping memories of their past and present. The students will focus on writing the MOST IMPORTANT details of each event in a timeline format.

6-Trait Focus: Idea Development and Word Choice

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

Project overview: The students participate in practice writing prompts in order to prepare for the Nevada Writing Assessment. The practice prompts are scored and students set goals based on the data. Special awards are given to students who achieve higher scores with practice prompts and the actual test. Through awards, the students are recognized for their accomplishments.

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

 

Kim's Family Take-Home Writing Lesson #2:
Weekly School/Home Letters

A Family Writing Night Activity from Julie
Family Scrapbooking Journals

Project overview: This project fosters written communication between students and family members while addressing topics that impact the students’ daily lives. Teachers will address a topic of interest with students (current events, life issues, read alouds, etc.) which the students will then write a letter to their parents about. Weekly, the students will take these letters home and have their parents write a written response. Both letters will then come back to school, be placed in the student’s portfolio, and saved until the end of the year.

6-Trait Focus: Idea Development and Voice

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

Project overview: This project fosters families working together to create meaningful scrapbook pages that can be cherished for a lifetime. The event is high energy and can easily accommodate families of any size, age or language. Families are encouraged to bring pictures of their choice, but they can bring pictures from magazines or any other pictures of interest. Everyone has a great time and they have a wonderful product to take home.

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

Kim's Family Take-Home Writing Lesson #3:
Family Apology Poems

A Family Writing Night Activity from Julie
Family Acrostic Poems

Project overview: Based on the poetry collection, This is Just to Say..., written by Joyce Sidman, the student will write a poem of apology to his/her parent. As showcased in Sidman's collection, the student poems may be sincere or their sincerity might be in question, as it certainly is in the original William Carlos Williams poem, "This is Just to Say." The parent, in turn, will write a response poem back to the student. This Family Writing Project was adapted from the Poems of Apology Lesson created by Northern Nevada teacher Todd Herman for the WritingFix website.

6-Trait Focus: Word Choice and Voice

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

Project overview: This activity encourages families to work together to create acrostic poems for each member of the family. The last name of the family may also be included if the family so desires. This activity can easily accommodate families of any size, age, or language. The product created from this activity will be as individual and creative as the family itself. The families are encouraged to be as artistic as they wish. Everyone has a wonderful time with memories and poems to cherish for a lifetime.

Julie believes this family writing project would be appropriate for anyone with in the ages of 5 and 99.

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line.

 

A Family Writing Night Activity by Julie
Family Book Review

 

Project overview: Coming soon!

Click here to access the lesson and its resources on-line. (Coming soon!)

   
   

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Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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