Writing Tips from Third Graders


#sol17- Day 17/31 March 17, 2017

We have just begun a poetry unit in third grade and yesterday at sharing time I decided to have the third grade writers share some advice. We had created word banks for various emotions and some students used those to inform them as they wrote their drafts.  I talked to the students briefly about some author speak- pantsers and planners. I asked them to identify their preference and based on that think about tips they might offer fellow pantsers or planners (or writers who wanted to try the opposite strategy). I must interject that I am a complete pantser- I feel like a fraud when I introduce various planning strategies, as I am terrible at planning in my own writing.

The class was split, with a preference toward pantsers.

The Planners suggest:

  • trying out various kinds of plans
  • writing a few drafts and try them out with a partner
  • making lists
  • talk with a writing partner throughout the process
  • use charts
  • use a word bank

The Pantsers suggest:

  • reading aloud your draft to revise
  • go with the flow and trust your quick reactions
  • start quickly
  • know your subject well before you start writing
  • look for inspiration
  • write fast and then check
  • talk with a writing partner after you draft

I love that these writers already have some affiliation as members of a group of writers. We also talked about how our preference to be a pantser or planner can vary depending on what we are working on and some things outside of our control.

Yahoo for empowered writers!

8 thoughts on “Writing Tips from Third Graders

  1. Anne Donnelly

    What great tips!! I’m definitely a pantser and my favorite tip was to know your subject really well before writing. I often find that I spend a lot of time thinking about a slice, composing certain lines or even paragraphs in my head first, and once I know it really well and am happy with the angle or direction, I can begin putting it on paper and fixing more words and ideas around that.

  2. vanessaw2007

    This is great! I always thought I was a pantser but lately have started being more of a planner. Maybe somewhere in the middle. I love that in 3rd grade, they’re starting to think about how they learn and what helps them be better writers.

  3. Phyllis Sutton

    I have never heard those terms before! I miss teaching writing; my position only involves reading this year. It sounds like you have a fabulous group of readers AND writers.


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