Evan-Moor Daily 6 Trait Writing
When we were blessed with the opportunity to review Evan-Moor’s Daily 6-Trait Writing, Grade 4, it was a huge relief. Like many homeschool families, (and those with boys especially) the subject of writing has always been a bit of a challenge.
Writing is typically introduced in a formal manner and format. Making the writing process as a whole, boring, stale, and daunting to a reluctant writer. There’s resistance, tears, and pure frustration. Sound familiar?
If taking a step back from formal writing elements and introducing a writing curriculum that isn’t boring AND doesn’t include long and grueling lessons is your jam, then Daily 6-Trait Writing is for you.
But first, a little about them. Who is Evan-Moor?
In the 1970’s, Joy Evans and Jo Ellen Moore aimed to motivate struggling students in their school. They joined together to create supplements that taught basic skills to those students. After failed attempts to attract a publisher, they joined forces with Joy’s brother, Bill, and formed Evan-Moor Educational Publishers in 1979. Thus began the evolution of Evan-Moor that now offers countless titles, digital resources, e-books, center kits, and so much more.
Here’s an excerpt from their Mission Statement:
“We strive to produce educational materials that are aligned with current standards and best educational practices—and with student interests and motivations. We pride ourselves on our ability to create products that not only build and reinforce basic and complex skills, but that develop a curiosity about the subjects in which those skills are taught.”
Homeschoolers notably find Student interests and motivations, along with developing curiosity about subjects to be attractive.
What we received.
The Daily 6-Trait Writing was offered to us in printed book form or as an e-book option. Considering two of our children are using this we opted for the e-book. It does require printing the work pages for each child, but this option is less expensive than purchasing two printed versions. I requested the Teacher’s Addition e-book because it included the simple lesson plans, reproducible student pages, and a scoring rubric.
Daily 6-Trait Writing contains 25 weeks of mini-lessons divided into five units. Each unit is designed for a 5-week span, but like most great curriculum it can be modified to fit your needs.
Each unit focuses on a writing trait. Sprinkled in each trait is also a skill.
A few examples of these skills are:
• Capitalizing Proper Nouns
• End Punctuation
• Possessive Nouns
• and so on
Each daily mini-lesson is short and only takes about 15 minutes depending on how in-depth you decide to get with it. There are 4 daily student activity sheets with the 5th day being a writing prompt.
How we used it.
I’m a paper kind of person so I prefer to print things out and put them in a binder of sorts. If printing does not appeal to you, you can certainly view the teacher lesson plans on your PC or tablet. Additionally, I printed out the daily student pages for our boys and put them into a folder. I do recommend you print out their work pages, even though we did some of the assignment verbally. More on that in a moment.
I printed out the rubric so I could evaluate each child’s progress at the end of the unit. I’m not a stickler for tests, but I do like to see if my children are retaining what they are being taught.
If you are trying to keep your homeschool budget in check, you’ll appreciate the simple lesson plans. You can print the entire week on one sheet of paper (front and back). Day 1 and 2 are on one side and Day 3 -5 are on the other. This really minimalizes the amount of printing.
On to the verbal part. (Eliminate the overwhelm.)
As I mentioned above, there were times we would do the assignment verbally. You might be asking “Um, this is a writing curriculum, why would you do parts of it verbally?”
Our boys are not big fans of writing, therefore, I did not want to overwhelm them with writing that wasn’t as important to our goals.
Here’s an example: in activity A they are asked to find the topic sentence and supporting detail. We did that activity as suggested. However, Activity B asks them to pick a sentence and write a paragraph. This wasn’t necessary for us to write out so we verbally did this activity instead. My mission is for our children to move past the overwhelm of writing and make it appealing.
The following lesson (the next day) they will be writing their own topic sentence and 4 supporting details based on their favorite book. They will be adding these sentences to a graphic organizer. The goal here is to get them thinking about a topic and subject that interests them, (such as their favorite book) and get them excited to write. I felt this activity was more important for us to work through than the previous one.
The key for us is not to create so much writing that they despise all writing and have complete overwhelm. Let’s face it, not everyone is a lover of writing or reading for that matter. And that’s ok! This can be said for adults, too.
Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing has been a game changer for our homeschool. The once dreaded task of teaching writing fundamentals has become a much easier venture. I have taught many writing elements to our boys in the past, but frankly, they did not stick. They are retaining the fundamentals of writing so much better with this approach. Partly because the lessons are short and not daunting. Simple, yet effective. And mostly, there isn’t a ton of needless writing that doesn’t interest them.
*For additional writing improvements, we add in a few fun writing prompts here and there. Writing prompts that have meaning to THEM. Such as Lego’s, Star Wars, etc. Nurturing your child’s passion makes it easier for them to write and more appealing.
From a Frugal and Thrifty Perspective.
Evan Moor products are a wise use of your homeschool budget. In part, the e-books can be used with multiple children. There’s not a great amount of unnecessary printing for the teacher’s lessons plans. Also, you can completely skip printing and work off of a tablet to view the student pages. Your child can write his answers on a sheet of paper or a notebook.
Daily 6-Trait Writing is a game changer and should be added to your homeschool arsenal!
How about you? Are you looking for a Writing Curriculum that will completely transform your reluctant writer?