6th Grade Writing Strategies and Assignments

In 6th grade, students must be able to write clear and thorough pieces for a selected audience. Assignments can include different types of writing, such as narrative, explanatory and persuasive. Although writing has likely been a key part of your child's education throughout the years, learning to write well takes practice. He or she may improve more quickly with new writing strategies and at-home practice assignments.

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What Strategies Can I Use to Help My Child With 6th Grade Writing?

Although students advance their writing skills every year, 6th grade and middle school writing requires more complex organization and focus than previous grades. In order to help your son or daughter ease into this new level of writing, spend a little bit of time each day to review basics that are already being discussed in class.

You can start by providing your child a list of different types of writing and asking him or her to determine which are most appropriate for specific purposes and audiences. Alternatively, encourage your child to review examples of different types of texts to get a better understanding of how each are used. In addition to these basic review strategies, you can also provide your child with practice writing assignments to complete in his or her free time.

Three Writing Assignments for 6th Graders

Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are used in nearly every grade of elementary and middle school to help students practice writing without having to focus too much on topic selection. Once your child reaches 6th grade, writing prompts will likely be more open-ended and left for his or her interpretation.

In 6th grade, writing prompts can be narrative, expository or persuasive in nature, and they may focus on writing in a journal, writing a poem or starting a story. For example, the prompt could simply be a famous quote and asking the child to explain what it means to him or her. If you choose, you can come up with your own prompts for your son or daughter to complete on a daily or weekly basis, or you can find several free prompts available online.

Journalistic Writing

While writing is an important skill for kids to develop, oral communication and research proficiency are necessary as well. In this activity, your child will act as a reporter in order to gain interviewing, fact checking, topic selection, headline writing and news reporting practice at home.

To start, provide some examples of both news and feature stories that your child can read. Because news and feature writing differ, your son or daughter should choose which type of story he or she will write before moving forward with the activity. Additionally, your child will select a topic of interest that he or she can interview you, family members or friends about.

As your son or daughter moves through the process of developing interview questions, organizing and writing the story, you may need to provide some guidance regarding what details need to be included and what makes the most sense. Once the story is complete, save a copy and repeat the activity once each week. After a few months, you should be able to put together a mock newspaper of all the articles your child has written.

Creative Writing

To give your child further practice with descriptive writing and creative thinking, have him or her create a menu for an imaginary restaurant. You may want to start this activity by printing a few different types of menus from the Internet. For example, your child may like to see samples of breakfast, lunch, dinner, steakhouse, deli and other menus to spark a few ideas.

In order to get started, you may want to buy a piece of poster board and fold it into thirds so your son or daughter has a lot of space to work with and can really feel like he or she is writing a restaurant menu. During the activity, your child will create sections for beverages, soups, salads, entrees and more. Additionally, you may ask your child to create a brief overview of the restaurant on the front or back cover along with a logo and restaurant name. Each item on the menu should include a detailed description that really lets the reader understand what the item is without seeing a picture.

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