Daily 6-Trait Writing is a writing workbook for students in grades 1-8 published by Evan-Moor. I’ve used it to teach homeschool writing with two of my kids for 1st and 3rd grades. We used it for the entire school year and completed the workbook.
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Daily 6-Trait Writing Review
How does it work?
Each Daily 6-Trait Writing workbook contains 25 weeks of writing lessons that are grade-level appropriate. The traits referred to in the title of this curriculum are ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and writing conventions. Separate units cover the first five traits while the final trait – writing conventions – is incorporated into each writing practice page.
Each lesson consists of four days of writing practice with the fifth day devoted to a short writing assignment.
The writing practice pages are nicely formatted with a main idea about the current trait being learned stated at the top, an exercise to practice that main idea covering most of the page, and a small section at the bottom explaining the current writing convention with a very short exercise to practice that convention.
The fourth practice page generally serves as a pre-writing step for the writing assignment. The writing assignment consists of a prompt designed to allow the student to practice what he/she learned about the element of the trait being covered that week. The teacher’s manual also states that you could choose to expand the writing assignment for the student.
What should you buy?
You’ll need the teacher’s manual and the student workbook. The teacher’s manual contains teacher instructions (which are handy if you are not confident in teaching writing), a scoring rubric, and an answer key for the student exercises. The student practice book contains the four exercise pages with a fifth writing prompt page for each lesson.
How much time does it take?
Daily 6-Trait Writing is largely open-and-go. If you choose to purchase the e-book version of the teacher’s manual, you’ll need to print & assemble the student pages into binders, a folder system, or bind them yourself (possibly using a ProClick system).
If you plan to use Daily 6-Trait Writing as a spine because you like the convenience and organization of a workbook, but suspect that your student may need more hands-on activities to get him/her interested in the writing process, you should research and plan writing crafts for publishing the writing assignment (more on that below). If you take this route, the open-and-go aspect of this curriculum gets blown out of the water since your research and prep may take quite a bit of time.
As for how much time Daily 6-Trait Writing will required from you each week, that will again be dependent on how you use this curriculum. At the very least you should plan to introduce each weekly lesson and ensure understanding of the element of the trait being covered that week. Each trait is broken down into bite-size pieces, so introduction of the lesson should take less than ten minutes.
Your student may then be able to complete the practice pages independently, although I felt it best to complete writing with my first grader (and sometimes my third grader) each day.
The amount of time required from your students to complete this curriculum will depend on their grade level and how creative you get with the writing assignments.
- Each practice page – <20 minutes, maybe much less depending on difficulty and grade-level.
- Writing assignments can be completed in a similar amount of time, especially if the Day 4 practice page was completed thoughtfully.
- If you choose to use a creative publishing option to spark interest in a hands-on learner, you may need to double or triple the amount of time dedicated to the writing assignment.
How does Daily 6-Trait Writing rate?
My personal (feelings-based) rating of these grammar workbooks is 4 stars, but the rating based on the criteria detailed above comes to about 4.5 stars.
Will the Daily 6-Trait Writing curriculum work for your family?
Since this is a workbook-based curriculum, I would say that the best fit would be students that have a preferred Learning Method of the Written Word and a Social Setting preference for Independent work, but you could make thoughtful adaptations to your students’ particular preferences/needs.
My Best Tips for Using the Daily 6-Trait Writing Curriculum
- If you purchase the e-book and don’t want to print it out yourself, you can have it printed by The Homeschool Printing Company through their website. If you do use this option, I recommend that you have it spiral-bound so that the spiral is on top, allowing the workbook to function like a legal pad. My kids like this option because the spine is never in their way when writing. Also, give yourself plenty of lead time since it might take a month or more for the printing company to get to your order.
- Allow students that struggle with handwriting or spelling to narrate their writing assignments for you to write down, or to type out their writing assignments. In this way, handwriting and spelling don’t get in the way of learning how to make their writing more specific and interesting. Handwriting / spelling can and should be practiced at a different time.
- If you have a hands-on learner that has zero interest in writing, you may want to spark interest in their writing assignments with a fun craft to publish their assignment. To find such a craft, search for “writing crafts for kids” on Pinterest. You may also be interested in exploring WriteShop Primary as an alternative to Daily 6-Trait Writing.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Daily 6-Trait Writing
While I really do love Daily 6-Trait Writing, my recommendation is to use it for grades 1-3, possibly 4th grade. By 5th grade, students should be ready for a more comprehensive writing curriculum with longer-form assignments.