A Writing to Learn approach helps students explore, engage in, and apply new information as they write. The Collins Program is designed to, “help teachers in all content areas achieve their goals by requiring students to think on paper. This is accomplished by using frequent, usually short, writing assignments to increase students’ involvement in lessons, check on their understanding of concepts, or promote their thinking about content.” (Collins) Students may be asked to:
* “List relevant information they “know” about a new concept or topic just before it is presented to them.
* Put a concept from the text or another source into their own words " to “translate” it or summarize it.
* Make a connection between a concept from class and something else they know about or have experienced in their own lives.
* Explain how ideas are similar (despite their differences) or different (despite their similarities).” (Collins)