As a middle school writing teacher, it is hard to find the balance of providing enough support for your students and not stifling their natural ability to write.
It would be easy to provide all students with step by step instructions on how to write in response to their reading or how to form an essay.
But some students just don’t need that support.
They have the natural ability to respond through writing and allowing that natural response to flow is so important for middle school developing writers.
But some students do need that support.
By providing a step by step, question-based support for students who are daunted by the task of responding through writing, your hope and goal is to help students internalize these steps, so that the next time, they can take ownership of how they respond to the texts.
Not all students need the same thing, so sometimes we have to be open-ended as writing teachers and sometimes we need to provide more support.