Writing Unit Plan for 6th-8th Grade

Teacher-designed, the Write In Curriculum celebrates all students’ unique experiences and encourages students to create their own writing identities. By centering student identity and creative expression, this unit plan provides students with the opportunity to cultivate their voices and develop critical writing skills that can be transferred across a variety of contexts. 

While the unit focuses on explicit writing processes and skills, each lesson provides opportunities for students to engage in reading, speaking, and listening as well. Each part of the curriculum progresses students from an exploration of identities, to thinking about the purpose of writing, and finally to engaging students in the writing process. Students will discover how their identities influence the topics, genres, purposes, and audiences they wish to write for. Students will engage in the entire writing process which culminates with each student crafting an original writing piece in a genre of their choice.

The curriculum will also support teachers and students who participate in the American Writers Museum’s annual John Estey Student Writing Competition, a national writing competition that awards cash prizes.

Apply to Participate
A student on a field trip at the American Writers Museum typing on a typewriter with a sign in the foreground that reads "Ray Bradbury: Inentinguishable"

Curriculum Goals

  • Empower students to use writing as a tool to understand ourselves and the world
  • Encourage students to see themselves as writers

This curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Anchor (State) Standards. The unit was developed using a backwards design approach, based on the Understanding by Design curriculum framework. Currently, this curriculum is designed for students in 6th-8th grade levels.

The Write In Curriculum provides:

  • Educator orientation session which provides an introduction to the curriculum and online resources (PD hour(s) provided for orientation session)
  • Access to curriculum
  • (Identity themed) In-Person Field or Virtual Field Trip for out-of-state participants
  • Online resources and support
A virtual American Writers Museum field trip. A computer screen in the foreground reads "From Books to the Screen," and a TV screen in the background shows a classroom meeting on Zoom.

What to Expect

  • A flexible plan including anchor standards, key concepts, essential questions, content knowledge skills, vocabulary, and formative and summative assessment options.
  • A 3-part plan that progresses students from an exploration of identities, to thinking about the purpose and power of writing, and finally to engaging students in the writing process.
  • 24 lesson plans that integrate an in-person or virtual American Writers Museum field trip and writing a piece that can be submitted to the annual John Estey Student Writing Competition.
2 lessons of the American Writers Museum's Write In Curriculum

Timeline for Completing Course:

  • Teachers can complete this unit in 6-8 weeks time. In its inaugural year, it would require teachers to complete the entire unit. 
  • Upon completion of this course, teachers and students will be able to access our 2023 John Estey Student Writing Competition. This is a national competition and cash prizes will be awarded to winners.

Deadline for applications to participate in this program: Friday, Sep 9, 2022

To participate, please complete the application form below.