Answer Key: Why Kids Can’t Write

Lesson Plan: Why Kids [Still] Can’t Write

While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. intuition  |ˌint(y)o͞oˈiSH(ə)n| noun-the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning: we shall allow our intuition to guide us.
  2. rational |ˈraSH(ə)n(ə)l| adjective-based on or in accordance with reason or logic: I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation.
  3. devastate |ˈdevəˌstāt| verb [ with obj. ]-destroy or ruin (something): the city was devastated by a huge earthquake | bad weather has devastated the tourist industry.
  4. struggle |ˈstrəɡəl|verb [ no obj. ]strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance: [ with infinitive ] : many families struggle to make ends meet | new authors are struggling in the present climate.
  5. expose |ikˈspōz| verb [ with obj. ] (expose someone to) introduce someone to (a subject or area of knowledge): students were exposed to probability and statistics in high school.
  6. measurable |ˈmeZH(ə)rəb(ə)l| adjective-able to be measured: objectives should be measurable and achievable.
  7. remediation |rəˌmēdēˈāSH(ə)n| noun- the giving of remedial teaching or therapy.
  8. virulent |ˈvir(y)ələnt| adjective-bitterly hostile: a virulent attack on liberalism.
  9. rigorous |ˈriɡ(ə)rəs| adjective-extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate: the rigorous testing of consumer products.
  10. reinforce |ˌrēinˈfôrs| verb [ with obj. ] strengthen or support, especially with additional personnel or material: paratroopers were sent to reinforce the troops already in the area.

Reading Comprehension


Molly Cudahy, who teaches fifth-grade special education at the Truesdell Education Campus, a public school in Washington, D.C., said she appreciates Dr. Hochman’s explicit and technical approach. She thought it would free her students’ voices, not constrain them. At her school, 100 percent of students come from low-income families.

Grammar Focus: Prepositions

In her teacher training sessions, Dr. Hochman of the Writing Revolution shows a slide of a cute little girl, lying contentedly on her stomach as she scrawls on a piece of composition paper.

Along the way, students are learning to recall meaningful content from math, social studies, science and literature.

There is a notable shortage of high-quality research on the teaching of writing, but studies that do exist point toward a few concrete strategies that help students perform better on writing tests.