Struggling with how to get reluctant writers to revise and/or strengthen their work? A technique called SPAWN, developed by Martin, Martin, and O’Brian in 1984 and recently reintroduced by Grozo (2003) may be just what you need. The 5 writing options you can present to your students include the following:
S – Special Powers. The student can change some aspect of the text or topic. Their writing then explains what was changed, why it was changed and the effect of the change.
P – Problem Solving. Students are asked to write possible solutions to problems that have been proposed in the book being read or the material being studied.
A – Alternative Point of View. The students writes about a topic or retells a story from a different character’s point of view or relates it from a different perspective.
W – What If? Students are given the opportunity to respond to a change they have made in some aspect of the topic or the story or to a change the teacher suggests. They write about the results of the change.
N – Next. After reading a portion of the text, students describe what they think the author will discuss next, explain or have happen next and provide evidence to support their predictions.