How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar Cover

How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar

From research to practice

How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar is a popular Essential Resources book from highly regarded authors Dr Helen Walls (The Writing Teacher) and Dr Christine Braid.

The resource takes an empirical evidence-based approach to teaching writing across primary school years. While it is based on scientific research, the advice is practical and easily transferrable into the classroom. The authors cover the underlying subskills of learning to write – text generation, transcription and self-regulation.

  • Transcription skills – Guide for teaching spelling and handwriting.
  • Translation skills – Practical recommendations for teaching vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Writing lessons – Presenting the Fast Feedback approach.
  • Contexts for writing.

The aim of How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar is to summarise the research evidence relating to the 'why' and 'how' of teaching writing. The hope is to leave primary teachers confident in their knowledge of writing instruction.

Hear what experts are saying about How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar in Professor James Chapman's review.

Are you looking for more hands-on support? Check out our How to Teach Writing, Spelling and Grammar professional development course.

Ages: 5-13 | Pages: 84 | Code: 51249 | ISBN: 9781776559770

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Picture of Helen Walls

Helen Walls

Dr Helen Walls is a professional learning facilitator and educational researcher, with 20 years’ experience working in schools. She is committed to raising achievement in writing by sharing evidence-based, practical methods to engage every student. Helen is managing director of The Writing Teacher, a consultancy that provides writing workshops and resources for teachers, all accessible online. She is also a member of the Massey University school support team. For her PhD thesis, Helen conducted two empirical studies into the teaching of writing, which included a trial of the Fast Feedback Formative Evaluation System outlined in this book. She has published with The Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties and The Education Hub.
Picture of Christine Braid

Christine Braid

Dr Christine Braid has 40 years’ experience as an educator, including 12 years as a classroom teacher and 25 years as a teacher educator with a focus on literacy teaching. In her academic studies, she has specialised in literacy: she has a Diploma of Children’s Literature, her MEd thesis looked at using picture books for developing comprehension discussion with older primary students and her PhD examined the influence of teacher knowledge and practice on literacy outcomes for new primary students. Combining her practical and her experience, Christine works with teachers to promote systematic and explicit teaching and to provide opportunities for incidental learning. Christine has a particular enthusiasm for finding ways to inspire teachers and children using books.


Declining rates of achievement in writing4
Turning to evidence-based approaches4
Overview of this book4
How to use this book5
1. Writing development and general recommendations for teaching6
The writing process: a summary of empirical research6
The Simple View of Writing6
Implications of the research: general recommendations for writing instruction7
2. Transcription skills10
Handwriting and spelling skills are essential to writing success10
Handwriting instruction: best practice methods10
Spelling skills are essential to success with writing11
Teacher knowledge for spelling12
Spelling instruction: What to teach15
Spelling instruction: How to teach16
Spelling programme: Spelling made simple21
3. Translation40
Teaching vocabulary41
Teaching sentence structure44
Teaching punctuation use46
Sentence structure and punctuation: knowledge for teachers46
Sentence-combining for beginners50
4. The writing lesson58
How to use Fast Feedback58
Why Fast Feedback works60
Key components of a writing lesson60
Frequently asked questions62
Scope and sequence63
Graphic organisers75
5. Contexts for writing and teaching about genre79
Purposeful writing tasks79
Teacher knowledge for teaching genre79
Using picture books for writing82
Weekly plan for spelling85