ERIC Number: ED392564
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Writing to At-Risk Students in a Rural High School.
Hodges, V. Pauline
Of poor academic skills, perhaps the most prevalent among at-risk students is the lack of ability to compose--to develop ideas in print. Providing opportunities to learn that skill opens a whole new world for young people who believe they are incapable of learning. This paper describes writing instruction that was provided over a 4-year period in language arts classes for at-risk students in a rural high school in Forgan, Oklahoma. Students in the classes had scored in the lower 50 percent on a state-mandated achievement test. Students had learning disabilities, were unmotivated, came from dysfunctional homes, or had been in trouble with the court system. Nearly all were boys. Classes were limited to 10-12 students. In the initial diagnostic writing assessment, many students could not write even one sentence. Teaching methods included having students use note cards to jot down ideas, brainstorming, minilessons on plot development and dialogue, cooperative story writing and proofreading, use of computers for final composition, presentation of stories to kindergarten students, and development and self-evaluation of portfolios. Students consistently improved their ability to write over the 4-year period, and learned to find information in the library, through interviews, and through computer searches. Their self-esteem improved because they knew they were learning to write, and this new skill helped them in their other classes. This paper includes sample writing assignments. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Story Writing
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Rural Education Association (86th, Salt Lake City, UT, October 4-8, 1994).