6 Traits of Writing

The six traits of writing is a model that we use at Barwon Heads PS to learn the qualities of good writing.

1B have been looking at our favourite Bob Graham books and we have identified where we think he has used the traits in some of his writing.


SENTENCE FLUENCY-Long and short sentences: “Many coins rattled into Buffy’s cup that day and many faces passed by. Then someone stood in from of him. His breath stopped. His feet stopped. The sun came out.”

ORGANISATION-Excellent ending: “And Buffy lives up there, on the hill, to this day.”


ORGANISATION-Bold beginning: “Let’s get a pup!” said Kate

WORD CHOICE-Showing not telling: “She was old and grey and board as a table. It was difficult for her to get to her feet, but she stood, it seemed, almost politely. Her eyes watered, her ears went back and she radiated Good Intention.”



IDEAS: Write about what you already know. Focus on one small part of the event.

We also love the messages and inferences that we can take from this book.



WORD CHOICE-Showing not telling: “Mr Wintergarten’s front gate had not been opened for years. Rose heaved and pushed. The gate groaned and squeaked. Then slowly it swung open.”

What is your favorite Bob Graham book?

Letter from Bob Graham

This term 1B have been studying the books by Bob Graham (Mrs Kebbell’s favorite author!!). At the beginning of this term we all wrote letters to Bob and yesterday was a very exciting day for us because he responded! He told us about how he gets his ideas from personal experiences. We already knew that his books nearly always have a dog in them and he wrote that he has an old dog called Maggie who is the inspiration behind some of his stories. He told us about the book he has just finished writing called “How the Sun Got to Coco’s House.” It’s going to be hard to wait a whole year until it is available for us to read!! We all love Bob Graham’s books.

Here is a copy of Bob Graham’s letter to 1B.



Letter from Bob Graham



Dear Children from Grade 1B,

Thank you for all your letters and also your lovely drawings.  I love kids drawings!  I put them up around my room.  They make me happy.

You have asked lots of questions – so I shall try and answer some of them.

I can’t even answer the first question, (how many books have I written?) I’ve lost count – about 30 or 40?


I get my ideas from all over the place.  There might be things in my books that I have seen in the street or heard from the kids living next door, or dogs, (yes, there are lots of dogs in my books, I love ’em and they’re so interesting).  They are all different just like people are different.  That one that I have drawn overhead is a bit like our dog Maggie when she was young.  She’s very old now but she still likes to run after a ball when I throw it down the hallway.  Her feet drum along the bare boards and she sometimes skids into the door at the end.  That would make a nice picture in a book I think.  But I would have to find a story to go along with the picture.

I bet there are lots of stories happening in YOUR houses.  If you have a mum or dad or baby brother or sister or cat or dog or budgie there are sure to stories falling out of the air.  All you have to do is catch them and write them down and maybe do a picture or two.

I have just finished a new picture book.  It is being printed now and you will see it about this time next year I hope.  It is called “How the Sun Got to Coco’s House.”  It is about the sun travelling over polar bears and whales, kids going to school, foxes, hares, camels, oceans and snowy mountains.  And at last it will arrive at Coco’s house.  But like all journeys I hope the trip will be just as interesting as the arrival, as getting there.

And after that?  I have no idea!  I shall sit at my desk with a pen and some nice color pencils and a piece of paper.  Then, hopefully after a while I might site something down – then draw a picture, then……….? well, it’s not unlike the letters you have just sent me, is it?  I bet you can write stories yourselves.  I know you can certainly draw the pictures.

Keep reading,

Keep writing and drawing too.