Here is a description of Ideas as presented in the creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing:

Ideas are what you have to say- the reason for writing your paper.  Everything about your writing begins with that message.  If you can choose your own topic, pick something important to you, that you know a lot about.  If someone picks the topic for you, look for a way to connect it to your own experience.  That way, you can use what you know.

This is one of the secrets- Keep it small. If your topic is too big (like “Animals of Africa”) you’ll wind up trying to tell too much and not be able to focus on any one idea long enough to make it clear.  Skinny it down (“Why Lions Hunt in Pairs”) so you can handle it.  Put in the kind of details that show you pay attention to the world and notice how it works.

Surprise your reader with what you know. Don’t spend time on things that anyone could write.  Don’t say, “Cooking in a restaurant can be hard work.” Even people who don’t cook can figure that out.  Instead, tell what goes on in the kitchen when an angry customer sends the food back.  That would be an interesting insight!

One more hint: Make your ideas crystal clear.  Avoid general statements like, “Our trip was exciting.” Exciting how? Instead, say “I chased two very hungry black bears away from our camping supplies.” Specific details that help the reader picture what is happening can make or break your writing.

Here are some examples of stories that will help guide your writing for Ideas: 

Student example that earned a 5 for ideas

student example of beautiful imagery

Example of feedback that needs a little more love and attention

Example of Helpful and meaningful feedback

Please click here for the IDEA SCORING GUIDE!

Here is the story we read in class on Wednesday, September 7th 2011 to discuss ideas.  The Day my Grandfather died

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