Writing in Grade 6 is all about text complexity as children are expected to continue developing their skills so that they can build strong arguments using supporting evidence and write entertaining stories. Similar to the lower grade levels, your child will continue to develop a strong understanding of the link between reading and writing, as they will now have to start analyzing information to determine the main points of a text in order to inform their writing.
Grade 6 students will predominantly focus on three key writing approaches:
We hope the advice below will set up your child for sixth-grade writing success!
Argument and opinion writing are very important writing skills, as they allow children to effectively voice their opinion and share different perspectives on the same piece. Once they master these skills, they’ll be able to state a clear point of view and support it with reason and evidence.
Arguments should be written in a formal style. Understanding the difference between formal and informal writing and when each should be used is a skill children will learn in sixth grade.
One important aspect to consider is a child’s ability to use linking words. These are the glue that stick claims and reasons, sentences and paragraphs, together. By sixth grade, children are expected to use a variety of linking words effectively when writing arguments.
Here are a few for you to practice with your children:
consequently, as a result, therefore, henceforth, moreover,
furthermore, similarly, additionally, equally, likewise,
nevertheless, even so, regardless, in contrast, despite, finally, immediately
When a child has crafted their argument by clearly stating their position, giving reasons, adding supporting details, and using linking words, they need to write a concluding statement. A concluding statement should wrap up the argument. It could summarize the main points from their argument, or rephrase their position, and it should end on a positive note.
Practice Tip: You can encourage your child to work on understanding the differences between formal and informal language by comparing two different texts and discussing their similarities and differences.
When writing informative texts, there are a variety of different strategies that children can use depending on the topic and purpose. Using definitions and cause/effect are examples of these.
Here are some top tips on how to plan an informative piece of writing:
Informative writing pieces should be closed with a concluding section that summarizes the main points and leaves the reader thinking about the topic. A couple of top tips to remember are to recommend where the reader might go for further information or leave them with questions relating to the future of the topic.
Practice Tip: Work on informative writing by asking your child to write a weekly grocery shopping list, asking them to name all of the essential items which are used on a regular basis. Looking for more? Nightzookeeper.com offers lots of lessons on how to incorporate factual information into a piece of informative writing!
Technique, description, and a well-sequenced plot are all expected features of Grade 6 level narratives. When working on narrative writing, some aspects to focus on include a clear focus on the topic, good descriptions of characters, settings and other imagery relevant to the narrative. Narratives may also include techniques such as dialogue.
These narrative techniques are very useful, as they allow the plot to move forward and help to develop well-rounded characters.
Grade 6 writers need to have the descriptive vocabulary to use precise words and phrases in their narratives. Narrative writing relies heavily on providing a high level of detail with the aim to allow the reader to clearly visualize the actions, characters and settings present in the story. For example, adverbials of time and place are linking words we often use to sequence paragraphs. They show shifts in time and place that help readers follow the sequence of a narrative.
Concluding a piece of narrative writing may sometimes be challenging, as there are many techniques to choose from. We really encourage writers to try out different endings to their narrative pieces, including cliffhangers, unexpected plot twists or a classic happy ending!
Practice Tip: Your child could complete the narrative lesson series on nightzookeeper.com. This will help them to explore narrative techniques such as pacing, description, and dialogue to move the plot forward and develop characters and events.
Nightzookeeper.com hosts a wealth of sixth-grade writing content that has been designed to help both with the basics of writing and the flair and creativity needed to succeed at this high level. The platform pushes children to think outside of the box and produce articles that are grade level appropriate. With regular feedback provided to users, nightzookeeper.com helps children to develop good habits in regards to drafting and redrafting their writing. There’s also lots of opportunities for children to practice writing in the three main styles of writing mentioned in this article.