Modeling Writing in Content Areas

Providing models or templates for students does not mean doing an assignment for them. Models allow students to see what the teacher’s standards and requirements look like in a finished product, and offer them a point of comparison for their own work. Models can come in many forms: oral examples of participating in a discussion; projects or writing samples from other classes (anonymous and with the student’s permission); a completed math problem; or a sample page for a project. Templates provide a structure that helps students demonstrate what they’ve learned. Templates can also come in many forms: a structure for a type of paragraph or essay; a note-taking structure; or a lab-report structure. A completed template may be used as a model for students to follow.

For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Provide Models,” click here.

See the attached resources for more specific examples of how to model writing in mathematics, social sciences, and science classes.

Strategies to Download:

Mathematics Journal:

This activity gives students the opportunity to practice using correct vocabulary and explaining their understanding of concepts.


Social Sciences: First Steps to Writing an Essay

This template helps students to brainstorm ideas, organize their essay, and create a thesis statement.


Science: Lab Report

This sequence and format example helps students work through the components of a lab report.


Let us know what you think! Email to share your thoughts and strategies.

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