High School
English Language Arts

Technical Writing for High Schoolers

Why should tech writing be taught only in colleges? Why not start in high school? Your students might not find it as boring as you think. Their favorite products and devices, or even everyday objects such as toasters or pencil sharpeners could be used for manual-writing projects. How about writing an original recipe for one of their favorite foods? This collection features high-school level technical writing lesson plans. Be sure to check out the iFixit High School site for tech writing.
A Collection By Amelia Franz
  • 10 Collection Items
  • 10 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Technical Writing for High Schoolers
  • The author says:
    The CCR anchor standards and high school grade-specific standards work in tandem to define college and career readiness expectations-the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity. Text Types and Purposes: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • edutopia.org
    edutopia.org

    Technical Writing: Themes from the Common Core

    5 minute read
    Amelia Franz says:
    This article explains how technical writing for Common Core literacy standards connects with real-world writing scenarios in engineering and science. The articles states that improvement in literacy results not only in better lab reports and written science assignments in high school, but also in professional writing throughout a student's career.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    The Barnes and Noble NOOK guide and Nikon D7000 Digital Camera manual are among the great examples of technical writing, in this article. The page links to the manuals, so you and your students could print these PDFs and explore what makes them effective.
  • ifixit.org
    ifixit.org

    5 Ways Manuals Suck More Than Root Canals

    5 minute read
    Amelia Franz says:
    Your students will enjoy these nominees for the "bad manual hall of fame" from iFixit. Sometimes it's easier to explain good writing by analyzing really bad writing.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    To give your students an idea of how technical writers get their start in the field, they could review this forum of requests for volunteer technical writers. Most of these involve writing documentation for open source software projects, in order to gain experience. Your students won't be ready for these positions, of course, but it might help them think about career plans and what it takes to succeed in tech writing.
  • learning.blogs.nytimes.com
    learning.blogs.nytimes.com

    Writing to Explain: Creating How-to Scripts and Demonstrations

    8 minute read
    Amelia Franz says:
    In this learning sequence, students first view a slide presentation on how to pack ten days' worth of clothes into a piece of carry-on luggage, then write their own "how-to" instructions for something that can be found in the classroom--playing a simple game, making a paper airplane, tying shoes.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This lesson plan is also from the Lesson Planet site. Students learn about the four different types of technical writing, then practice following complex directions to build an origami box.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Even though this is a membership site, I included the lesson because I think it would be really interesting for students. Their assignment is to choose an extreme sport, and write an instruction manual to explain it to others.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Students work on this series of lessons for several class days, learning about different genres of writing. They bring one household item to class to write their own instructions for the device. They then create a rubric to evaluate what makes technical writing effective or ineffective. This is a very thorough lesson plan that could work for high school juniors or seniors.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This looks like an amazing site for high school students! The online Tech Writing Handbook is well-designed, with chapters on using photos, avoiding confusion, organizing content, and considering audience. The PDF is available for download. Oh, and it's all free! Their stated mission is to cut down on "e-waste" (used computer parts) by building up a library of repair manuals.
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BloomBoard Asks:How have you applied ideas from this collection to your classroom?