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6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, Grades 3 and Up Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Professional Books (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439280389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439280389
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The 6+1 Traits of Writing model is used throughout the United States and the world. It has become a highly respected, essential tool for evaluating student writing and planning instruction. Its primary author, Ruth Culham, is unit manager for the assessment program at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) in Portland, Oregon. As the recognized expert in 6+1 Traits of Writing model, she conducts workshops, designs institutes, writes extensively on the topic. Prior to joining NWREL, Ruth was a classroom teacher for 19 years.

More About the Author

You never know what's brewing next with Ruth Culham, aka "The Trait Lady." She's either on a plane traveling to a school district or conference to present her latest thinking about how to use the six-trait model for assessment and instruction, or creating new Scholastic resources for writing teachers to use in the classroom.

Actually, she credits Delta airlines for completing the new middle school book and the books that go with it such as forms, mentor text, and comments. During those long flights between who-knows-where and Portland, Oregon (home base) she logged some serious writing hours. The new core book contains way, way cool new scoring guides, papers, lessons, and ideas to make a middle school writing teacher's life a happy place. Think that's impossible? Stay tuned. A writing revolution is underway.

Ruth spent 19 years in the classroom, the highlight of which was being named Montana's English/Language Arts teacher of the year. After classroom teaching, she worked as researcher and then Unit Manager for the Assessment Program at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. She finished her doctorate. She wrote her first book: 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Grades 3 and Up. And the rest, they say, is history.

Check out this site for the many exciting and teacher-friendly trait-based writing resources now available to support teachers and students from Scholastic Press.

Her latest book, "Traits of Writing:The Complete Guide for Middle School" won the 2011 Teacher's Choice Award, a rarity for a professional book. When the Trait Crates for grades 3-5 won the award in 2008, she was thrilled. This year's recognition makes it even more special.

And there's much more coming in the months and years ahead⎯including a top-secret project bound to make K-8 teachers smile. There's always more-in her heart and on her mind. Her connections to teachers and students keep the work fresh. Her home office keeps her comfortable. Her friends keep her in wine. Her cats keep her company. Life is pretty good.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The traits are a simple yet effective way to improve your students' writing.
Kimberly A. Kannal
This book can help your students understand the qualities of good writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation.
Jeff White
I highly recommend this book if you want to teach your students to be better writers.
G. Poirier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier on April 18, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started teaching high school english this year and ordered this book because our district uses the 6 traits to asses the students' biannual writing tests. I decided I should teach them what they'd be tested on...
This book has really taught me a lot about using the traits. Each chapter is very in depth and has good examples. There are sample lesson plans and suggestions on ways to emphasize each of the traits.
I like the traits because it's a great way to break writing into manageable parts. I'm not just telling my students they got a "C" on a paper. Instead, I'm telling them they wrote a paper that has some strengths and some weaknesses. Further, I can tell them where the weaknesses are and what I think they should do to improve it.
But, maybe the best thing is that I am teaching them to score each other's papers and it guides their thinking and scoring. There's a companion book of worksheets and other reproducibles that is almost a must have because it includes rubrics and scoring sheets for students to use.
My only wish is that there was a separate book for secondary students. The standards for writing are different. But, even still, this book does cover secondary teaching and I find it very useful.
I highly recommend this book if you want to teach your students to be better writers.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jeff White on December 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Any teacher, school employee, or a mother would greatly benefit from having this book on their resource shelf. This book is a fantastic guide to improving your writing instruction across ALL content areas. The wisdom and experience that Ruth Culham distills in her new book is invaluable. I knew, when I was first introduced to the 6+1 Trait Model, the impact it would have on my student's ability to write with confidence and precision. For the past fours years my students were ranked at the top of Delaware State's Writing Assessment. I owe it all to Ruth Culham! This book can help your students understand the qualities of good writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. Once they understand this common language teachers are able to provide their students with precise, complete feedback on their writing performance. Writing is a lifelong skill we all need. This book will help you and your children master it!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly A. Kannal on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
A few years ago I took a workshop on the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing that changed my life as a language arts teacher forever. The traits are a simple yet effective way to improve your students' writing. I was thrilled when I heard Ruth Culham was writing a new guide to the traits. Her book is the perfect combination of background information about the traits and practical lessons for the classroom. The examples of student writing are invaluable. My students and I have already enjoyed many of the creative ideas.
As an added bonus, Ruth practices what she preaches. The book is beautifully written, strong in all the traits. I truly enjoyed reading it from cover to cover. Writing teachers of all levels will treasure this valuable resource!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mala on December 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Save the $1,000+ you'd spend on a workshop! This paperback has it all. And you get to keep it with you for future reference! I bought this wonderful resource, 6 + 1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, on a whim. I implemented it in my classroom, and I just can't say enough about how well it has been received. My middle school students really enjoy the activities I've used nearly straight from the book. Other teachers who come through my room comment on what they see hanging from the walls, things the students created using the structures set forth in 6+1 Traits. The grading rubrics used in the system work extremely well with the Florida standardized writing test scoring system, making this an ideal choice for any Florida teacher. Still, anyone anywhere who wants an easy to remember system with affordable supplemental products should look into the 6+1 Traits system offered by Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. While NWREL offers training, I've found this book needs no additional support to be a strong, effective foundation for teaching both the art and the science of fine writing.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Without question, this is the most complete, dependable book on teaching writing according to the traits. It's made a real difference in the way I assess, teach, and talk about writing to my students, as well as the way they talk about writing to one another. Most important, my students enjoy writing. They see value in it. And it shows in their finished products. Thank you Ruth Culham for creating such a useful, well-researched, well-written tool.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Corbin on June 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ruth Culham's text is easy to use, clear and concise, and certainly a companion volume to Vicki Spandel's book. I have used it to teach graduate courses in writing and teachers like it very much.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amy Yang on December 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I looked at many writing books for my child. A school teacher recommended this one to me. After we used it as the primary writing guide, my child's writing took off. It's so effective that his writing has jumped from average to outstanding in his class. Now the book is one of our two MUST-DOs every week (the other is Beestar online ELA and vocabulary exercises, a wonderful web site [...] Writing is a life-long skill. We will continue use this guide to improve writing for a long time.
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