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After Reading Activity:  Writing to Read

Page history last edited by Mary Murray Stowe 12 years, 9 months ago


After-Reading Activity – Writing to Read


Effect of writing activities to support reading comprehension

This report, which follows Writing Next, provides strong evidence of effective uses of writing activities to support and enhance reading comprehension.  Having students respond to text through personal reactions or analyzing and interpreting the text is supported by the strongest evidence to enhance reading comprehension.  Extended writing activities in response to texts or personal reactions include "guided journal writings" or student blogs on literature read.  Teachers might provide open-ended questions to which students are to respond, including analysis of a variety of aspects of text read.  In the upper grades, students are asked to complete analytic essays or literacy essays where analysis of text is required.


Having students write summaries of the text with little to no guidance carried the next highest evidence of effectiveness according to the study results within the Carnegie Report. The report also suggests that students might be taught the rules for writing a summary, which include:  identify the main information, delete non-critical information, delete repeated information, and compose a short synopsis of the main and supporting information.  Another format for summarization would be to create an outline with headings and subheadings.

 Finally, notetaking and answering questions about the text read received the least support as effective writing strategies for enhancing comprehension of text.


Effect of teaching the writing process or teaching text structures for writing, teaching spelling and sentence construction skills, and teaching spelling skills alone

The report presents strong support for improving reading skills through the teaching of spelling skills.  Reading fluency is improved through the teaching of spelling and sentence construction skills while significantly less support was evidenced for the teaching of the writing process or text structures.


 Effect of increasing the amount of student writing on reading comprehension

Some support was presented to show that the amount of student writing affects their understanding of what they have read.  Activities such as pen palling or daily writing on self-selected topics were suggested as methods for supporting this recommendation.



Graham, S., & Hebert, M. A. (2010). Writing to read: Evidence for how writing can improve

reading. A Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education. 


Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007).  Writing next:  Effective strategies to improve writing of

            adolescents in middle and high schools.  A Carnegie Corporation Report.  Washington,

            D.C.:  Alliance for Excellent Education.




Writing to Read Document - WritingToRead_01.pdf

Writing to Read Power Point presented through the Alliance for Excellent Education - 041410WritingReadPPT.pdf

Writing Next Document - WritingNext.pdf  



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