From Integrating Academic Standards into CTE: Six Traits of Writing, a professional development training presented by Susie Heintz and other staff of Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona.
Teachers and students have found that they share many values about writing. Students are often surprised to learn that teachers are interested in more than just good conventions, however important spelling, punctuation, and grammar might be. Ideas, humor, creative thinking, organization, word choice, logic, and knowing your audience are all important, too. Writing is complex, and many qualities contribute to its success.
It is important for students to understand that the six traits are a reflection of what we, as an interpretive community, value in good writing.Teachers should begin by asking questions, getting students to talk about what they value in writing, then expanding their thinking by sharing samples of writing, and helping them to make connections between what they think and what teachers think. The four key steps for a good introduction to the six traits are:
1) Brainstorm the qualities of good writing. In the beginning, students often respond in ways that are reflective of what has been emphasized or assessed up to that point, or what students think teachers are looking for in their writing.
2) Expand students thinking, using examples. While we want students to maintain and value grammatically-correct copy, we would also like to expand their