How to Grow a Great Writer

• The writing portion of The Florida
Comprehensive Test is
administered at grade levels 4, 8,
and 10.
• Students are asked to respond to an
informational or narrative prompt.
• Students are given 60 minutes to
plan, write, and edit their work.
• Students are scored on a scale of 06 using the FCAT scoring rubric.
• If they do not pass FCAT Writing in
4th grade they are given a district
version of the test called
Hillsborough Writes in 5th grade.
• At the elementary level, they must
pass FCAT Writing or Hillsborough
Writes in order to be promoted to
6th grade.
The FCAT 2.0 anchor papers are
the instruments used to score
student’s writing. In order to pass,
a child’s elaboration must be
equivalent to a level 4 anchor
It is a guide we use, however your
child’s writing is holistically scored.
This means the writing is being
scored for its overall quality. The
four areas addressed are:
• Is the writing focused on
the Big/Main Idea?
• If not, the writing is
considered “unscorable”
and given a score of 0.
• Everyone has jobs or chores. Before
you begin writing, think about one
of your jobs or chores. Now explain
your jobs or chores.
• Everyone has a favorite day of the
week. Think about your favorite
day of the week. Now write a story
about your favorite day of the week.
• Is it logical?
• Does the essay include a
beginning, middle, middle and
• Are appropriate transitions used to
relate ideas within and between
• Is the writing elaborated with
ample writer’s craft?
• Did you stick, stay and stretch on a
moment, character, setting,
action, etc.?
• Does the writer demonstrate
mature use of language?
• All support must be plausible.
• Are commonly used words spelled
• Does the writer demonstrate a
knowledge of the rules of
capitalization and punctuation?
• Is the writing grammatically
correct using appropriate
subject/verb agreement and tenses.
• Are various kinds of sentence
structure used?
Elaboration or
Extension or Elaboration??
Extension or Elaboration??
Extension or
Extension or Elaboration??
Extension or Elaboration??
• Use of a detail or a simple list
that focuses on events or
• For example: I like to go to
school because it is fun.
-FLDOE, state report
• Use of information that begins
to clarify meaning.
• For example: I like to go to
school because it is fun when
the teacher allows us to do
experiments with frogs.
-FLDOE, state report
• Use of additional details, anecdotes,
illustrations, and examples that further clarify
the meaning. Information that answers the
question, “What do you mean?”
• For example: I like to go to school because it is
fun when the teacher allows us to do
experiments with frogs instead of just reading
about frogs in books. Experiments allow us to
have the fun of discovering for ourselves how far
and how fast frogs can jump and what kinds of
foods frogs like to eat.
- FLDOE, state report
When Tiana was a little girl,
she loved to cook. “Food brings
people together,” Tiana’s
daddy always said.
-page 2
Back at home. Tiana happily finished
cooking dinner with her father, James. They
dreamed of opening their own restaurant
together someday.
“This is the best gumbo I’ve ever tasted!” he
declared. “A gift this special just has to be
Soon the whole neighborhood gathered
around their porch to enjoy the good food.
See Book!!!
Pages 13-14
Alice fell down, down, down the rabbit hole.
She passed bookshelves, jars of jam, and
“I wonder how many miles I have fallen?”
Alice asked aloud. “I wish my cat, Dinah, were
here with me!”
Thump! Alice landed on a pile of leaves. She
saw the White Rabbit running down a long
hall and she chased after him. But he turned a
corner and disappeared.
See Book!!!
Page 8
Write to your children.
Let your children see you write.
Write with your children.
Talk with your children before they write.
Encourage your young author to draw.
Encourage your children to take risks with
7. Let your children know they have something
to say.
8. Emphasize the fun of writing.
9. Listen to your children read their writings.
10. Read to your children.
Sensory Details- using your
senses to elaborate
Specific Details- size,
number, color, brand,
temperature, etc
Onomatopoeia- write the
sound the word makes
Similes- comparing 2 things
using like or as
Metaphor- comparing 2
Personification- giving an
inanimate object human
Purposeful Dialogue- using
quotations to move the piece
Vivid verbs- strong action
Color Words- using specific
terms for color
Dash- use to further explain
or define
Hyphenate to spell- S-P-E-L-L
Ellipses- pausing;
cliffhanger; takes place of
unspoken words
Sentence Variety- using
different lengths of
Thought Shots- express
what the writer is thinking
Alliteration- series of words
with the same beginning
Purposeful Repetitionrepeating words or phrases