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Using Sentence Frames to Motivate Students to Write

In a previous post I prompted members to discuss motivating students to write.  In the past week I have been developing a presentation that focuses on critical thinking and critical reading as essential skills for effective writers, particularly when addressing argument.  As I was researching critical thinking and reading instructional strategies, I kept revisiting the concept of motivation and incorporated some strategies to help motivate students to write.  Our students must have motivation to engage in all aspects of effective writing.

Many of our students are intimidated by writing long passages such as essays and papers.  Using paragraph frames is an instructional strategy I have used to help motivate students to write.  For lower-level students I begin with sentence frames.  Students are provided with “frames” of sentences or paragraphs with words missing.  Instruction is then scaffolded with less support, ultimately providing students with the skills to independently write. 

Please share any successes you have had using sentence or paragraph frames.

My quote for the day is by Ray Bradbury, “You fail only if you stop writing.”



Leecy's picture
One hundred
Motivation provides a promising (and debatable) topic for discussion, especially among those serving adults. 
There are those, like Raymond Wlodkowsi, psychologist and global consultant in adult and professional learning, who propose that no one can motivate another. I've found that to be true in my work with adult students. What we might be able to do as instructors, especially in teaching fear-related skills like those related to writing and math, is to tap into the existing motivation of students. Those who might be motivated to write but are scared to fail, especially in "public," might well be willing to take a chance if the task before them promises to lead to success. Using sentence and paragraph frames, as Jeri suggests, might well engage such students if the content relates to their interests and goals.
It might be helpful to see a couple of samples for those frames posted here by those who use the strategy! Thanks. Leecy