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Writing indicators

The writing indicators have been provided to help moderate student writing. They have been designed to identify student achievement at Basic, Proficient and Advanced, at Curriculum Levels 1-6. These are designed for students in Year 4 and above but can be used successfully in the junior school when linked with the Literacy Learning Progressions. For each writing purpose, the writing indicators comprise:

• progress indicators developed to help teachers understand and evaluate their students’ progress and achievement in writing (scoring rubric); • annotated examples; and
• a selected glossary of terms.
Note: Examples are not provided for Level 1.
Writing indicators are available for the following writing purposes: • persuade or argue
• instruct or lay out a procedure
• narrate, or inform or entertain through imaginative narrative • describe, classify, organise and report information
• explain
• recount
• analyse

Purpose: Describe

This section describes the key characteristics of “describe, classify, organise and report information” purpose writing.

Using the Scoring Rubric
The progress indicators in the scoring rubric have been developed to help teachers understand and evaluate their students’ progress and achievement in writing. Teachers are asked to make a “best-fit” judgement as to the level at which their student’s writing most predominantly sits for each of the seven content areas: Audience Awareness and Purpose, Content/Ideas, Structure/Organisation, Language Resources, Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation.

Deep Features
Audience Awareness and Purpose:

The purpose of this type of writing is to document, organise and store factual information on a given topic.

It usually classifies and describes whole classes of living and non-living things (e.g., reports on scooters, blue whales, etc.) or specific living and non-living things (e.g., descriptions of Pikachu, my teddy, etc.).

There are many types. This progress indicator deals specifically with information reports and factual descriptions.


▪ Texts that report and describe contain information statements, which are often declarative or stating. ▪ Elements of the purpose include a general classification statement that provides information for the reader about the nature of the subject of the text (e.g., “Kiwis are flightless birds”, “My teddy is the most precious toy that I have”). ▪ Elaborated, information-laden sections follow to tell what the phenomenon or item under discussion is like, and to provide details about, depending on the topic of the report or description, components and their functions, properties, behaviours, uses, locations or habitats, types, and their relationship to the writer. ▪ The writer may conclude the text in a simple manner, although such a conclusion is optional. ▪ The writer may round off with a general statement about the topic (e.g., “Today the Kiwi is well known around the world as a symbol of New Zealand”, or “I love my teddy more than any other toy I have. I hope I never lose him”).


▪ The text is generally organised around things and their description. ▪ There is a logical ordering of information (i.e., no temporal/time sequence is evident). ▪ Content is grouped or structured according to common themes evident in the information presented. ▪ Sentences are linked thematically to the topic of a paragraph or section. ▪ Text organisers such as titles, headings, and sub-headings are commonly used to orient or organise reading.

Language Resources:

Descriptions name and describe specific people or things (e.g., my teddy) while reports name and describe generalised participants or whole classes of...
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