Unveiling New Writing Units: A Teacher’s Guide – Part 1

Unveiling New Writing Units: A Teacher’s Guide – Part 1

Welcome back to The Teacher’s Toolkit for Literacy podcast for a new season, where this fortnight we delve into the intricacies of teaching writing effectively.

In this podcast episode, Sharon and Phil explore the nuances of creating writing units tailored to the Australian curriculum, offering valuable insights for educators looking to enhance their literacy instruction.

Recharging and Reflecting: The hosts kick off the discussion by reflecting on their recent personal experiences, highlighting the importance of taking breaks and engaging in activities outside of work to recharge. They emphasise the significance of approaching learning with a fresh perspective, drawing parallels between their own experiences as adult learners and those of students in the classroom.

Navigating Teaching Struggles: Addressing common challenges faced by teachers, the conversation shifts to the struggle of aligning writing instruction with the demands of standardised tests like NAPLAN while ensuring a comprehensive literacy curriculum. They identify a tendency among educators to prioritise narrative and persuasive writing at the expense of other genres, urging a broader approach that embraces the richness of the Australian curriculum.

Crafting Purposeful Writing Units: Sharon delves into the rationale behind developing writing units structured around diverse text types and writer’s craft elements. These units, designed to span five to six weeks, aim to foster students’ engagement with literature as models for crafting their own writing. Sharon stresses the importance of intentional planning, emphasising the need for units to address specific writing traits while allowing flexibility for teachers to make professional choices based on student needs.

Empowering the Writing Process: The hosts underscore the significance of integrating ongoing revision into the writing process, challenging traditional approaches that reserve revision for the end of lengthy writing projects. They advocate for a cyclical approach to drafting and revising, wherein students continuously refine their writing through targeted feedback and intentional application of writing strategies.

Practical Strategies for Implementation: As the discussion unfolds, practical strategies for unit planning and implementation emerge, including frontloading background knowledge through read-alouds, aligning writing units with broader curriculum themes, and mapping out the writing process over the duration of the unit. Sharon emphasises the importance of equipping teachers with the tools and confidence to adapt and personalise writing units to meet the diverse needs of their students.

Looking Ahead: Part one of the podcast sets the stage for a deeper exploration of effective writing instruction, promising valuable insights and actionable strategies for educators seeking to empower their students as confident writers. Stay tuned for part two, where the conversation continues, delving into the structural elements of writing units and practical tips for supporting student writing journeys.

For more literacy learning tips and resources, subscribe to The Teacher’s Toolkit for Literacy podcast and visit Cue Learning and Teachific for additional support and professional development opportunities.


  • Part 1: New Writing Units Uncovered with Sharon Callen: Podcast Link





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Thank you to these teachers for their contributing work:

  • Bec and Sean at Fairview Primary School in WA
  • Rick, Jenna and Kate at Mt Barker South Primary School in SA


Tune in to “Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy,” a free podcast where accomplished literacy educator Sharon Callen and her team share valuable insights and tips. With over 30 years of experience, they provide strategic learning solutions to empower teachers and leaders worldwide.  Subscribe on your favourite platform for exclusive literacy learning content.  AppleSpotify,  GoogleYouTube

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Have questions or feedback? Reach out to us directly at admin@cuelearning.com.au

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