Using a Range of Writing Strategies
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Microcredential ID : 2990
Secondary ELA Endorsement: Teaching Text Creation
0.5 USBE Credit


This microcredential represents educators' effective and consistent use of a range of strategies for writing instruction.

This is the fifth microcredential in the Teaching Text Creation stack. This stack of microcredentials fulfills one of the requirements for the Secondary Literacy endorsement. It also fulfills one of the requirements for the Secondary Literacy Intervention endorsement.

No standards provided.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this microcredential you will collect and submit two sets of evidence demonstrating your effective and consistent use of a range of strategies for writing instruction. You will also complete a written or video reflective analysis.

A fee of $20.00 will be assessed once the microcredential is submitted for review.

This microcredential partially fulfills competency 5 for the Secondary ELA endorsement. Successful completion of this microcredential will show that teachers plan for and teach students a range of effective writing strategies in developing texts both individually and collaboratively in the secondary English classroom.

This microcredential also partially fulfills competency area 9 for the Secondary Literacy Intervention endorsement.

Important Terms
Writing Strategies:

Writing strategies, the tools writers use to create a piece of writing, can be developed intentionally by writers through teaching and practice. Strategies should be practiced throughout the writing process (e.g., during inquiry, prewriting, drafting, revising, and publishing). They should be transferable to different writing tasks and situations and may be adapted by different writers or by the same writer for different writing tasks. Strategies may be practiced in a classroom environment but should eventually be used independently by writers. (Definition from Deborah Dean’s Strategic Writing Second Edition, p. 6).

Writing Skills :

Writing skills are related more to product than process (e.g., the ability to punctuate a sentence or write a topic sentence). Skills might be transferable to other writing tasks, but they might also be unique to a specific genre (such as adding effective links to a blog post).

Writing Activities:

Writing activities are those activities teachers use to engage students in a writing task (“gateway activities,” according to Hillocks) or to help them understand a concept related to the writing (e.g., describing a process to another student as they do it so that clarity is emphasized).

Reflection :

Reflection is an oral or written consideration of actions a writer has taken and their effects on the writing process and product. Effective reflection both looks back at the choices writers make and looks forward to future writing when the choices might be helpful again. Looking forward (when I might use this strategy again and why?) facilitates transfer of writing knowledge.

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

During a writing unit, Ms. Cooper’s students are tasked with writing an informative essay meant to prepare them for the standardized test at the end of the school year. Because she recognizes the constraints of teaching specifically so students can show mastery on a test, Ms. Cooper wants to help her students develop writing strategies that they’ll be able to apply in other writing situations beyond this unit.

Ms. Cooper develops a unit plan that explicitly teaches and gives students practice with a range of writing strategies throughout the writing process. During the unit, she develops lessons where she models and students practice a variety of writing strategies, and she builds reflection into the unit to support students’ critical understanding of the purposes of the strategies they practice. Ms. Cooper understands that designing writing instruction around strategies, rather than around skills or activities will help students become independent writers in her class and beyond. Her lesson plans throughout the unit reflect her understanding of and commitment to teaching and practicing a range of writing strategies with her students.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Preparation and Planning

Submit the evidence below to demonstrate your effective and consistent use of a range of strategies for writing instruction.

Unit Plan:

Submit a writing-focused unit plan you have developed and used as a part of your instruction with students. Your unit plan must include the following:

  1. Brief (1-2 paragraph) description of the unit, including the students’ learning targets and the related Utah Core Writing Standards and a short description of the final unit writing assessment to provide a framework for the teachers’ instructional decisions.
  2. List of writing strategies (6-8) students will practice individually and collaboratively throughout the phases of the writing process. This list should include strategies that span inquiry, prewriting, drafting, revision, and/or publication phases. Each strategy should be briefly described in the context of this particular unit plan and how it will move students toward the final product. Each strategy should also include a description of how it can be modified for learners with accommodations.
  3. Writing reflection plan. Description of a reflective task or activity designed to guide students’ awareness and transfer of the strategies they practiced during this unit to future writing experiences.
  4. Unit timeline (6-12 class sessions) outlining a range of daily instructional activities corresponding to the unit learning targets that reflect how the candidate sequences and varies instructional activities to support the teaching of writing throughout the unit.
Category: Implementation

Submit ONE of the evidence options below to demonstrate your effective and consistent use of a range of strategies for writing instruction.


Submit two short videos (3-5 mins each) of whole-class and/or small-group instruction that demonstrate a range of instructional approaches designed to model, practice, and reflect on writing strategies throughout the unit. The videos should reflect two different instructional experiences at different points in the writing process and should demonstrate the range of strategies the candidate uses to support writing development among their students.

In addition, submit a brief explanation of how the writing activities show how students are developing writing strategies as well as writing skills.

Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.


Submit two written or video-recorded testimonials from two students who represent a range of mastery and/or particular learning needs.

In their testimonials, students should describe a range of whole-class and/or small-group instructional approaches you used during the unit to model, practice, and reflect on students’ writing strategies. The student testimonials should describe at least two different instructional experiences at different points in the writing process and should identify the writing strategies the teacher taught to support students’ writing development. Student testimonials should also describe opportunities for reflection built into the learning cycle.

Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.


Submit a screencast video tour of your course site (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Google Classroom), specifically depicting a range of learning activities you designed to develop student writing strategies and skills throughout the course of the writing-focused unit. The tour should show in detail at least two instructional experiences (individual or collaborative) that students participated in with a narration describing the strategies each learning activity was designed to teach and practice. The tour should include demonstrating opportunities for student reflection throughout the student learning cycle as well as modifications provided for students with particular learning needs.

Narrate during the screencast while showing any related instructional materials and student artifacts, including the way your instruction throughout the unit was designed to support students’ development of writing strategies, writing skills, and reflection.

Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: Instructional plans and implementation demonstrate multiple, relevant instructional activities designed to help students develop writing strategies, writing skills, and reflection.

Criterion 2: Writing strategies are practiced throughout the unit and across different phases of the writing process to build writers’ independence and competence.

Criterion 3: Instructional plans are adapted, and candidate varies their roles in the teaching and learning process to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners.

Reflection Prompts

How has your understanding of writing strategies informed your instructional planning and decisions over the course of your teaching career?

How did you use student reflection as a tool to develop their independence as writers and their approach to developing writing strategies and skills? How do you think reflection will benefit them as writers beyond this unit and/or beyond your class, and why?

How do you differentiate your instruction to meet the needs of students with particular learning needs (e.g., English language learners, students with IEPs or 504s)?

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: Reflection demonstrates both understanding of what writing strategies are and development of instructional practices that model and practice a range of strategies with students throughout the writing process.

Criterion 2: Reflection demonstrates use of student reflection as a tool to develop learners’ awareness of writing strategies and independence as writers who make choices about their writing decisions.

Criterion 3: Reflection demonstrates effective modification of instructional strategies to accommodate the individual and whole-group learning needs of students in their classroom.

Dean, D. (2017). Strategic Writing: The Writing Process and Beyond in the Secondary English Classroom (2nd ed). National Council of Teachers of English.

In this book, Deborah Dean defines a writing strategies approach to teaching writing. Each chapter describes strategies to use in writing instruction across the writing process (inquiry, prewriting, drafting, revision). The appendix includes lesson plans and strategy examples that teachers can modify in their own classrooms.

What Does a Writing Unit Look Like?

In this Moving Writers blog post, Rebekah O’Dell describes how she conceptualizes all of the parts of a writing unit. This post may be helpful for teachers as they develop their writing unit outlines as they consider the different mini-lessons, activities, and strategies they want to teach throughout the unit.

Nelson, E. T. (2020). Creating School and Classroom Unity through Community Action Projects. English Journal, 109(4), 70–77.

In this English Journal article, Elizabeth Thackeray Nelson describes a writing unit she taught with 12th-grade students. She defines the learning goals and describes the range of writing strategies she used with her students throughout the writing process––from inquiry to drafting to revision to publication––of developing community action projects. This article may help teachers who would like to read about how a teacher builds a unit and integrates writing strategy instruction and reflection with student writers.

Using Mentor Texts as Models for Writing

In this Writers Who Care blog post, Amy Worob shares a set of strategies related to mentor texts that she uses in her writing classroom. This resource will help give teachers examples and ideas about how to use mentor texts to develop writers’ strategies in their classes.

Using Collaborative Writing to Prepare for Standardized Testing

In this Writers Who Care blog post, Kim Johnson describes a series of strategies she used with her students to practice writing collaboratively in a way that would support the transfer of these writing strategies to a new writing task (a standardized test). Teachers may find this resource useful as they consider how to develop and implement writing strategies throughout a writing unit or to find examples of how to build writing strategies during collaborative writing experiences.

Mazura, C., Rapant, J., & Sawyer, M. (2018). Teaching Revision as an Act of Voice and Agency. English Journal, 107(3), 81–86.

In this English Journal article, Mazura et al. describe six strategies to use during the revision process, showing how these strategies support the development of students’ voice and agency as writers.

Tchudi, S., Estrem, H., & Hanlon, P.-A. (1997). Unsettling Drafts: Helping Students See New Possibilities in Their Writing. English Journal, 86(6), 27–33.

In this English Journal article, Tchudi et al. share a revision strategy called “unsettling” and describe how they have used this strategy with writers in their classrooms to deepen writers’ experiences with revision.

What Am I Doing Now? How Might I Do It Better?

In this Moving Writers blog post, Alison Marchetti shares several examples of reflection strategies she uses with students to help them identify the strategies and choices they use as writers and to consider how to adapt and apply these strategies in future writing situations.

The Role of Knowledge in Reflection

In this Writers Who Care blog post, Kara Douma shares how a K-W-L strategy for student learning can be deepened by thinking of how to activate meaningful reflection. Teachers may find this resource useful as they consider how to deepen reflective practices in their own classrooms.

Position Statement on Writing Instruction in School

NCTE and its constituent groups have developed position statements on a variety of education issues vital to the teaching and learning of English language arts.

Courtney Bergman

Courtney Bergman
Tiffany Crook

Tiffany Crook
Ema Griffin

Ema Griffin
Troy Mecham

Troy Mecham
Taylor Tollestrup

Taylor Tollestrup
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