6 Simple “Old” and “New” Strategies to Teach Complex Writing Skills

Get your students to write right, alright?

complex writing skills

Teaching writing requires both ingenuity and experience—as well as a bag of tricks that combines tried-and-true ideas with new strategies and technologies.  And with this in mind, we’ve put together a list of strategies—both old and new—that will help you get a handle on teaching complex writing skills in a way that helps each and every one of your students.

Old: Journaling

Sometimes your students just need to put pencil to paper—and daily journaling is a great way to teach them how to express themselves through the written word. 


New: Blogging

A classroom blog is a great way for students to interact with each other in an informal, written way.  Use a tool like SchoolNet to start a classroom blog and allow students to post their own thoughtful articles, questions, and comments. Blogging can help with social-emotional development, confidence, empathy, and emotional regulation as well as developing tech literacy skills.


Old: Classroom Discussion


A good old-fashioned classroom discussion is still one of the best ways to teach kids to dig deeper and enhance comprehension, which can, in turn, transfer to their written work. If you’re looking for a good place to begin, check out this list of TED Talks that are great conversation starters for your students.


New: Online Literacy Tools

Web-based literacy tools (try WriteToLearn) meet individual instructional needs for all students—including struggling readers and ELL students, providing teachers an effective method of supplementing their classroom instruction.


Old:  Writing Circles

Group your students according to reading level and watch them motivate and push each other as they work through a difficult text and respond through writing and discussion.


New: Online Book Clubs

Find an online forum where people discuss books and ask your students to contribute their thoughts and reactions in writing. Or, you can start a just-for-your-class book club with your students using a private Facebook page.