Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Irene Bornhorst


Education, Elementary Education, Montessori Elementary Education


This action research project set out to determine the effects of daily writing workshop lessons, including the 6+1 Traits of Writing vocabulary, on student writing proficiency and engagement. An upper elementary classroom of 17 students, consisting of nine fourth graders and eight fifth graders, in an independent, suburban Montessori school participated in this study. Students completed a five-week narrative writing unit from Calkins, Ochs, & Luick’s (2017) Up the Ladder curriculum. The teacher-researcher collected data through observation, writing prompts scored using a 6+1 Traits of Writing rubric, student feedback forms, Bottomley, Henk, & Melnick’s (1997/1998) Writer Self-Perception Scale, and small group feedback sessions. The data suggested that students, particularly weaker writers, made gains in writing proficiency. Further research is necessary to determine if students would be more engaged in writing than other subjects and if classrooms with a full three-year age span would make similar gains in writing proficiency.