Teachers and Curriculum


Teaching writing
peer feedback
teacher demonstrations


This is one teacher’s story about teaching writing. It describes and explains how Mickey (the second author) encouraged her young writers (6–7-year-olds) to collaborate with their peers ‘to make their writing even better’. The article describes how the teacher, Mickey, redesigned her writing lessons to further scaffold beginner writers. Mickey fostered peer response that involved the young writers working with partners—first by becoming active listeners, taking on the role of audience, and then by providing specific feedback on each other’s texts. This resulted in Mickey’s students developing the social skills of collaboration and capacity to engage in dialogic conversations. Furthermore, the students’ developing understanding of evaluation and critique enhanced their ability to change and improve their own written texts.



Cambourne, B. (1988). The whole story: Natural learning and the acquisition of literacy in the classroom. Cosford, NSW, Australia: Ashton Scholastic.

Davis, A. (2013). Effective writing instruction: Evidence-based classroom practices. South Yarra, Vic, Australia: Eleanor Curtain Publishing.

Dix, S. (2003). The warp and weft of writing. Reading Forum New Zealand, 2, 5–13.

Dix, S. (2016). Teaching writing: A multilayered particpatory scaffolding practice. Literacy UKLA, 50(1), 23–31. doi:10.1111/lit.12068

Dix, S., & Cawkwell, G. (2011). The influence of peer group response: Building teacher and students expertise in the writing classroom. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 10(4), 41–57.

Dombey, H. (2013). Teaching writing: What the evidence says: Leicester, England: The United Kingdom Literacy Association.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning. Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

McNaughton, S. (2002). Meeting of minds. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Ministry of Education. (2003). Effective literacy practice in Years 1 to 4. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Ministry of Education. (2006). Effective literacy practice in Years 5 to 8. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Myhill, D., & Warren, P. (2005). Scaffolds or straitjackets? Critical moments in classroom discourse. Educational Review, 57(1), 55–69.

Parr, J., & Timperley, H. (2010). Feedback to writing, assessment for teaching and learning and student progress. Assessing Writing, 15(2), 68–85. doi:10.1016/j.asw.2010.05.004

Pritchard, R., & Honeycutt, R. (2007). Best practices in implementing a process approach to teaching writing In S. Graham, C. A. MacArthur & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Best practices in writing instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Ward, R. W., & Dix, S. (2001). Support for the reluctant writer (putting the talk and the drawing first. Teachers and Curriculum, 5, 68–71.

Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 17, 89–100. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1976.tb00381

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.