PA Writing Project (PWP)

College of Arts and Humanities

How to Read Course Descriptions

PWP 501. Introduction to Writing Workshop. 3 Credits.

A practical introduction to the writing process approach to teaching writing. This course provides the foundation for understanding the basic mechanics of a writing workshop. Participants will discuss strategies for implementation and management of a workshop classroom.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 502. Teacher as Writer. 3 Credits.

The best teachers of writing are teachers who write. This course is designed for teachers and future teachers who would like to grow as writers. This course is for teachers K-16+ in any content area. It consists of ongoing participation in a reading/writing workshop where participants experience and experiment with writing in the major modes (expository, narrative, persuasive/argument), poetry, and the many forms those modes take in the world outside the classroom. This course is designed to enable teachers to understand writing from the inside out, feel confident about sharing skills with their students, and feel comfortable facing any blank page.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

PWP 503. Strategies for Teaching Writing. 3 Credits.

Using The Six Traits of Writing Framework, participants will learn fresh, practical strategies for teaching writing. They will explore their own writing style and share strategies for writing instruction with peers. In this course participants will experience community building, pre-writing techniques, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing activities and will also work with a response group to polish writing and to take on the role of teacher as writer.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 508. Digital Literacies. 3 Credits.

This course provides hands-on technology instruction, including digital video production, web-based technology, and podcasting. These technologies will focus on current and future teachers of English or anyone interested in using technology in an educational setting.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 510. Content Area Literacies. 3 Credits.

Rationale and strategies for critical language experiences in all subjects. This course is designed to help the prospective secondary school teacher use effective techniques to improve students' reading and writing, both generally and in specific content areas.
Typically offered in Fall.

PWP 511. Writing Assessment. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to explore large- and small-scale writing assessment strategies, both summative and formative. Topics covered include the 6 Traits Writing Guide, the PA Writing Domains, Common Core Writing requirements, holistic assessment, portfolio assessment, responding to writing, and developing writing assessment systems. Participants will also explore types, purposes, audiences, and advantages of portfolio assessment. As part of the course, teachers will experience keeping their own portfolios and design systems for their classrooms as they examine the best practices and rationales for this assessment tool.
Typically offered in Fall & Summer.

PWP 514. Grammar Matters. 3 Credits.

This course will help participants become more comfortable and confident in grammar instruction. They will have the opportunity to design lessons that embed the teaching of grammar into the writing process. They will learn where to find answers to the more obscure questions about the rules of the English language as well as create and contribute to an online reference library of rules.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 516. Reading and Writing Argumentative Texts. 3 Credits.

Participants will study methods for teaching students how to read and critically interpret nonfiction texts in order to better write and support their own claims. They will also experiment with strategies that encourage deeper thinking and reasoning about topics through the lens of the National Writing Project's College, Career, and Community Writing Program (C3WP).
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 520. Finding Writing Mentors: Grades K-5. 3 Credits.

Welcome to the world of picture books - hundreds of texts in one room for students to examine and enjoy. The course facilitators share their love of children's literature and passion for writing in a relaxed, highly motivating setting. Learn how to connect story elements and literary devices to specific activities, use scaffolds to develop students' writing, and create strategic mini-lessons that link rich literature to the teaching of writing. Expand your knowledge of mentor texts for models of exemplary writing and reader-response activities designed for various purposes, audiences, and genres. Learn how to select and evaluate culturally authentic mentor texts that reflect a variety of experiences and voices.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 521. Finding Writing Mentors: Grades 6-12. 3 Credits.

The course facilitators share their love of middle grade and young adult literature and passion for writing in a relaxed, highly motivating setting. Learn how to connect story elements and literary devices to specific activities, use scaffolds to develop students' writing, and create strategic mini-lessons that link rich literature to the teaching of writing. Expand your knowledge of mentor texts for models of exemplary writing and reader-response activities designed for various purposes, audiences, and genres.
Typically offered in Summer.

PWP 597. Invitational Writing Institute. 6 Credits.

The signature experience of the National Writing Project where an interdisciplinary cohort become National Writing Project Teacher Leaders. A critical space for reflection, where we utilize the 'teachers teaching teachers' model that is a core component of NWP. Participants learn best practices from experts in the field including guest speakers, active Teacher Leaders, and most importantly, each other. Participants immerse themselves in the art and craft of writing, while also embracing a writer's identity themselves. This experience helps teachers develop advanced skills in the teaching of writing and develop relationships with other writing teachers who seek to improve their practice.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

PWP 599. Special Topics in Teaching. 3 Credits.

Topic varies. Each workshop will focus on specific issues and problems in the teaching of writing or literature and will introduce appropriate instructional materials and techniques.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.