Teaching Students About the Writing Process

The writing cycle – also known as the writing process – is a simple set of steps introduced to primary-aged children. However, it can be applied to any writing activity, particularly longer ones, such as a homework task.

The idea is that this process mimics the steps taken by professional writers in real life and gives children a clear framework to follow with any piece of writing.

The steps of the writing cycle:

Different versions of the writing cycle exist, with varying numbers of steps. Most children are typically taught a five-step writing process. These steps are planning (also called prewriting), drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.


When first given a writing stimulus, children are encouraged to plan their work. At this point, they should consider the genre, audience, and purpose of the text they are writing; this will help them make vital decisions later in the writing process, such as language choice; this can be done freehand on a blank paper, or using a structured writing frame. Children can also begin to think about the content of their piece – what ideas, concepts, or messages do they want to include?


Once they’ve got their initial ideas down, children can move onto the drafting stage, where they can start getting sentences onto paper and sorting different ideas into paragraphs (if applicable). Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect. At this stage, the main focus is getting ideas formulated and written down in a structured way.


Now that your child has got the majority of their ideas written down, it’s a great time to take a quick break to review what they’ve written. Does everything make sense? And is it written in a logical order? At this point, it’s a great idea to ask a teacher or a friend to look over the writing to see if anything could be written differently. And, of course, it’s essential to act upon the feedback your child has been given and make any necessary improvements.


At this stage, children are making the finishing touches. It’s a good idea to go through with a checklist, ensuring that spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct; this develops children’s proofreading skills, which are essential for later life, and deepens their grammatical understanding.


And they’ve done it! Children have finished their writing and are ready to share by this point. It could be reading it aloud to their peers or family, putting it on display, or submitting it to their teacher for marking. Once this whole process has ended, children should give themselves a big pat on the back!

Choose your Reaction!