Virginia

Writing Curriculum


The Simplify Writing® Curriculum supports the Virginia Literacy Act and aligns to the Standards of Learning For English.

YOUR STUDENTS DESERVE QUALITY LESSONS

Why Simplify Writing® is the Best Choice for Virginia Students

Systematic,
Explicit Lessons

We provide teachers with flexible writing lessons that can be used in both universal and intervention settings.

SoR-Aligned Encoding

Our lessons support the relationships between sounds and words as students learn to spell.

Provides Literacy Intervention

We train teachers on how to find gaps in student writing skills and use our intervention library to address them.

Virginia Instructional Program

Review Rubric

Indicator

Evidence

Program includes explicit handwriting instruction in letter formation. 

Explicit lessons on writing posture, pencil grip, paper positioning, and letter formation are included in the Simplify Writing® curriculum starting in Kindergarten. Additional letter formation and handwriting practice resources are provided for additional support and practice.


Program includes a wide range of authentic writing opportunities. 

 

Program includes opportunities to write in multiple genres for different purposes.

 

Every writing genre is covered throughout the Simplify Writing® program, with units on narrative, informational, explanatory, and opinion/argumentative writing. Students will produce both simple and extended writing pieces, with opportunities for pinpointing an audience and writing to entertain, inform, explain, persuade, and share ideas.


Program includes text-based tasks that require students to write about the topic and use the vocabulary and language appropriate for their grade level.

Text-dependent writing is a cornerstone of the Simplify Writing® program. Every informational and opinion unit includes text-based tasks, with students incorporating evidence from outside sources to support their ideas in writing.  Students will also analyze literary texts with opportunities to respond to synthesize multiple texts in one writing piece.


The Simplify Writing® curriculum also incorporates writing across the content areas, with units at each grade level that focus on science, social studies, and literature-related topics.


Program includes explicit instruction in idea generation and planning that leads to narrative and expository composition.

Every Simplify Writing® unit covers the writing process from brainstorming to publishing, with structured mini-lessons that guide students through each step. At the end of each unit, students will have produced a published piece for a specific writing genre, including personal and creative narrative, explanatory, informational, and opinion/argumentative compositions.


Program includes explicit instruction in grade-level appropriate skills (e.g., grammar).

Starting in Kindergarten, students learn to produce and expand sentences, with explicit instruction on the components and various types of complete sentences. Grammar resources are provided for specific sentence and paragraph-level writing skills such as capitalization, punctuation, sentence construction, parts of speech, figurative language, and more.

Download The Full Evidence Document

Wisconsin Early Literacy Curriculum
Criteria & Evidence

Teaching of the entire writing process: planning, drafting, editing/revising, and publishing some pieces.

Every Simplify Writing® unit covers the writing process from brainstorming to publishing, with mini-lessons that guide students through each step. At the end of each unit, students will have produced a published piece for a specific writing genre.


There is explicit instruction in handwriting including letter formation, posture, and grip, and there are opportunities for practice using lined paper to guide letter formation.

Explicit lessons on writing posture, pencil grip, paper positioning, and letter formation are included in the Simplify Writing® curriculum starting in Kindergarten. Additional letter formation and handwriting practice resources are provided for additional support and practice. Students progress from writing on blank paper, to using scaffolded dotted lines, and finally regular lined paper.


Sentence-level writing is a focus in grade K-2 writing instruction. 

Starting in Kindergarten, students learn to produce and expand sentences, with explicit instruction on the components and various types of complete sentences. Grammar resources are provided for specific sentence-level writing skills such as compound/complex sentences, subjects/predicates, parts of speech, and more.


Emphasis is placed on the quality -not quantity -of written work: organization, grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization are prioritized.

Each Simplify Writing® unit includes both a teacher and student-friendly rubric that describes how writing will be assessed, focusing on categories such as Content, Organization, Elaboration, Language/Vocabulary, and Conventions. 


Writing to learn is emphasized in the curriculum; writing is used as a meansto comprehend the content under study. Writing is always directly or indirectly linked to the curriculum content. 

The Simplify Writing® curriculum incorporates writing across the content areas, with units at each grade level that focus on science, social studies, and literature-related topics. 


Curriculum includes writing assignments that vary in purpose, length, and duration. 

Every writing genre is covered throughout the Simplify Writing® program, with units on narrative, informational, explanatory, and opinion/argumentative writing. Students will produce both simple and extended writing pieces, learning to complete the writing process over a period of days or weeks, as well as in a condensed time frame as might be required in a testing environment.


Curriculum includes frequent writing opportunities that are evidence-based and anchored in the content students are studying to extend and solidify their learning. Writing also includes regular use of short, focused research projects with teacher support (appropriate to the grade level), again anchored in the assigned content. 

Throughout the Simplify Writing® units, students will learn research skills, incorporating evidence from outside texts to support their thinking in writing. Reference texts or paired passages related to content areas are provided in many units as a source for building background knowledge, as well as citing evidence through quotes or paraphrasing. These skills are modeled explicitly using a mentor text, with opportunities for the student to apply the skill in their own writing.


Practice automatizing transcription skills is included, incorporating the use of digital tools or technology to produce and publish writing. 

Interactive, digital student pages are provided for every Simplify Writing® unit in grades 2+, with opportunities for students to use technology throughout the writing process to plan, draft, edit/revise, and publish their writing. Tutorials are provided to assist with using digital tools. 

Download This Evidence
THE VIRGINIA TEACHER EXPERIENCE

"...links well with reading..."

"I was able to spend more in depth time for kids who had trouble with the mechanics of writing. Going over the example for personal narrative really helped my stamina writers figure out what they needed to put next. Also, I found it linked well with our reading program, because they were able to give more feedback about their language arts stories based on what we talked about in writing."

Adrienne J.

Norfolk, VA

Virginia Classrooms

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