This new writing understanding that we are working hard to understand as teachers, and support students in doing successfully, is taking off here at Buckner Elementary. Currently, we have several grades where students are being intentionally guided toward transfer with this BIG (UNIVERSAL) IDEA so writing can unified. Already, in it's infantile stages, tying students' writing to a universal idea is leading to writing success.
1st grade: In ELA unit 2, students in each class self-selected a topic to write about for a collaborative ABC book. In the past, the topic held the informative book together, but this year, Mrs. Morrison's students tied their writing together through the universal idea/abstract noun: FRIGHT. Here are some photos showcasing how they wrote with unity by always coming back to the universal idea (fright) about the topic (Halloween).
Notice how the writer is learning more than just about the TOPIC of Halloween, they are really focusing on more than the topic. Readers are growing in their understanding about the topic based on the authors' thinking.
This poster adds visual texts and meaning for kids in the intermediate grades to refer to when writing. Kristen Z. has a great list in LARGE font ready for her kids to lasso when they are ready to sew their ideas together with a Universal Idea.