Check out the links to other DigiLit Sunday posts at Margaret Simon’s blog here.
Craft: What is it?
A woodworker has many tools that may range from hand tools like chisels. planes and mallets to power tools like saws, drills, and presses that can aid the process of turning out finely crafted projects.
Is the craft in the “Doing” or is the craft in the “Final Product”?
In writing there are many sources of craft. Some of my favorites are:
Lester Laminack, and
Stacey Shubitz to name just a few.
So many sources of craft information exist. Do I need craft information along the way as I draft or do I need the information as I revise and improve the clarity, anticipate a reader’s questions, and add additional information to make the work more interesting? I believe that writers need both skills. The more that a writer knows and anticipates in the drafting process, perhaps the revision will become less burdensome.
What is a teacher to do? Where should the teacher begin?
Many strategies and craft moves can be and are taught, but at some point the choices used by writers will come down to the individual authors. Strategic use of those moves needs to fit within the piece of writing that the author has undertaken. A wide repertoire of moves that fit into a grade level range of writing will come from mentor texts. Those mentor texts are often published texts, teacher written texts or student written texts. What a student will use will depend on the applicability to this piece. Teaching students to “self-assess” and even to “self-reflect” on their use of craft will be important. That’s one of the reasons why I believe these items in a fifth grade opinion writing checklist that students can use are absolutely critical!
Writers make many decisions as they draft and revise about their own writing. Tools with visible examples that students can use when talking about their writing or matching to a checklist or a rubric will put the power of writing choices in the hands of students.