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Canter and Associates, LLC

Writing Strategies for Increasing Achievement in Any Content Area (6-12)

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Overview / Abstract:

Whether you teach composition or chemistry, you can improve your students’ writing skills and, in the process, their comprehension of any subject. This course provides a systematic, step-by-step approach to teaching writing that is shown to help boost student proficiency. Using the Structured Process Approach, teachers in any area can learn how to help students break down the writing process into manageable tasks. Learn specific strategies for teaching students to write simple and complex arguments that encourage critical thinking, informative or explanatory pieces that deepen their understanding, and personal and fictional narratives that engage their interest in your subject. While content-area teachers will benefit from the course’s step-by-step strategies, traditional writing teachers can also learn new research-based techniques.

Teaching Tangibles
Incorporate effective writing activities into any content area to improve both comprehension and writing skills.
Align instruction with state, district, and Common Core State Standards.
Integrate into your lessons different forms of writing, including narrative, argument, and informative pieces.
Access guidelines and lesson plan templates for teaching the different forms of writing.
Leverage technology to engage students in the writing process, from using wikis to publishing their work.
Provide constructive, targeted feedback on writing assignments.
Evaluate the impact of formative and summative writing assessments on student achievement.


Oct 16, 2020


Education (K-12)





Credits / Hours

3 semester hours

Presenters / Authors / Faculty

George Hillocks, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Hillocks, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Education and English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, is one of the world’s leading authorities on writing instruction. He and his students in the Master of Arts in Teaching program have successfully taught writing in Chicago schools for more than twenty-five years. In 1997 he won the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English for his book Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice. In 2004 he received NCTE’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2008, Dr. Hillocks’ book Narrative Writing won the NCTE Richard Meade award and in 2010 Dr Hillocks was the recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Researcher Award given by the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy. Dr. Hillocks has written extensively on effective practices in writing instruction including The Testing Trap; Ways of Thinking, Ways of Teaching; and Research on Written Composition: New Directions for Teaching.

Elizabeth Kahn, Ph.D.

Dr. Kahn has taught English language arts for thirty-three years, currently at James B. Conant High School, where she is the chair of the English department. She earned a BA in English from Wake Forest University and an MAT in English and PhD in curriculum and Instruction from the University of Chicago. She is coauthor of The Dynamics of Writing Instruction: A Structured Process Approach for Middle and High School, (Heinemann, 2010); Writing About Literature, 2nd edition (NCTE, 2009); Talking in Class: Using Discussion to Enhance Teaching and Learning (NCTE, 2006); and Designing and Sequencing Prewriting Activities (NCTE, 1982); and coeditor of Reflective Teaching, Reflective Learning (heinemann, 2005). She has published articles in Research in the Teaching of English, English Journal, Journal of Educational Research, Clearing House, Curriculum Review, and Illinois English Bulletin. She recently served on the NCTE Secondary Section Steering Committee, as president of the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Judith Langer, Ph.D.

Judith A. Langer, is Distinguished Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is founder and director of the Albany Institute for Research in Education and director of the Center on English Learning and Achievement. Her research focuses on the literate mind: on how people become highly literate, on how they use reading and writing to learn, and on what teachers and schools can do to facilitate effective learning, particularly in urban and low-performing schools. She has received several notable awards, among them appointment as Distinguished Professor, the highest rank in the State University of New York system and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Uppsala (Sweden). Most recently, she was honored at Lund University, Sweden as one of 12 of the world’s “Imaginative Scientists.”

Author of numerous research articles, chapters and monographs, Dr. Langer has written eleven books, including Understanding Reading and Writing Research; Children Reading and Writing: Structures and Strategies; How Writing Shapes Thinking; Literature Instruction: A Focus on Student Response; and Envisioning Knowledge: Building Literacy in the Academic Disciplines. For eight years Dr. Langer was editor of the major research journal in her field, sits on six editorial boards, and has reviewed for 17 journals and many research agencies within the United States and across the world.

Keywords / Search Terms

Canter and Associates, LLC

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