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Six Traits of Writing (K-6)/Flex Course


Do you want to better understand the six traits of writing? This online course teaches you all the basics you need to get started. You will find a detailed course section for each trait along with excellent ideas for using literature to help teach each of the six traits of writing. A variety of assessment strategies are also shared. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I absolutely loved the content and resources of this course. I started writing down all the ideas I wanted to use, but finally just printed everything out because it was all so good." - Sasha Moore


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $127 (regularly $149)

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $323


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide” by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 90T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41488

Unit One

  • Six-Trait Writing: Building a Solid Foundation
  • Standards in the Classroom
  • Common Core Writing Standards
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Recognizing the Traits in Students' Writing
  • Understanding and Teaching Ideas
  • Understanding and Teaching Organization
  • Understanding and Teaching Voice
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Understanding and Teaching Word Choice
  • Understanding and Teaching Fluency
  • Understanding and Teaching Conventions
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise

Unit Four

  • Assessment of the Six Traits
  • Developing Writing Assignments
  • Peer Assessment
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Excellent Examples of Children's Literature
  • Using Picture Books to Teach the Traits
  • Introduction to Writer's Workshop
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Your Six-Traits Classroom
  • Six Traits Resources
  • Developing the Teacher's Role
  • Parent Involvement
  • Assignment #4: Assess a sample writing assignment for the traits
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)