The first and most important trait of writing is ideas–if you have nothing important to say, it doesn’t matter how beautifully you say it. Here are some lessons that will help your students improve the quality of their ideas:

Introducing Ideas (see this page for more introductory lessons on the six traits of writing):

Forming main ideas:

Using supporting details:

Revising for ideas:

  • PowerPoint: Revising to Improve Ideas and Organization
  • Here is a rubric that I use with my students to help them score their ideas:
  • 1 2 3 4 5
    No main idea, many off-topic or confusing details. Some main idea, but many boring or off-topic details. Clear main idea, but a few off-topic, boring, or irrelevant details. Strong main idea and good, relevant details. Very clear and interesting main idea, extremely interesting and relevant details.

Other lessons related to ideas: