What is a Good IEP Goal for Writing?

Updated: Apr 29



A good IEP goal for writing will be based on the student's grade level standards, which will be backward scaffolded through objectives to the student's current performance level. Writing goals should show reliable progress over time to ensure that the student's aim is properly addressing a need. Writing IEP Goal Bank.


Developing IEP Goals and objectives for Writing: Text types and purposes


Writing is a critical skill for success in school and beyond. But what's the best way to teach it in special education? Is there one right answer? In fact, research has shown that different writing approaches work better for different types of learners. It's critical to know the requirements and break them down into smaller pieces.


A writing rubric is essential for grading with specific criteria. When considering your student's writing


I couldn't fathom trying to keep track of what the student could do accurately unless it was broken down into smaller elements on a rubric. Could you imagine keeping track of an IEP objective for a five-paragraph essay when only three of the five skills were obtained? You wouldn't be able to measure the achievement in three abilities since the goal was to develop the whole essay.


You will need to utilize a writing rubric to help guide your IEP goals for writing and make sure they are accurate, making it easier for you as an educator to figure out what portion of each standard is lacking in order to improve quality. The student will need feedback on their work after you've determined target areas of improvement so they can gauge their own progress. As the student obtains more skills on the rubric, you will be able to set new targets for them to aim toward.

Let me show you how to make IEP goals that truly demonstrate the student's ability much simpler and more accurately.


What are the objectives of writing skills?


Although the goal gets more specific and complex they are all still working off the same primary foundational skills. Each grade level objective list directly ties to the next grade level standard. This makes it particularly easy to write the same goal with the alternate objectives from 2-5th grades. There are not many things about special education iep goal writing that are easy so take this small win and run with it.


Second grade IEP goals or objectives for writing

We'll start with the second grade for our first example when developing IEP goals for writing. Text and purpose is the major standard for all elementary grade levels.

There are three categories in this area starting with writing opinion pieces, informative/explanatory texts, and narrative writing. Our examples will only cover opinion writing but figuring out the others would be a very easy task given our breakdown.


Opinion writing at a second-grade level requires that the student can:

  1. Write an introduction to a topic or book they are writing about

  2. State an opinion about their topic

  3. Supply reasons that support the opinion

  4. Use the linking words because and also to connect their thoughts

  5. Write a concluding statement or section

Third grade IEP goals or objectives for writing

Opinion writing at a third-grade level requires that the student can:

  1. Write an introduction to a topic

  2. State an opinion about their topic

  3. Create an organizational structure that lists reasons to support their topic

  4. Use linking words and phrases like because, therefore, since, and for example

  5. Write a concluding statement or section

Fourth grade IEP goals or objectives for writing

Opinion writing at a fourth-grade level requires that the student can:

  1. Write an introduction to a topic with a clearly stated opinion

  2. Create an organizational structure that lists reasons to support their topic

  3. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details

  4. Link reasons and opinions using words and phrases such as for instance, in order to, and in addition

  5. Write a concluding statement related to the opinion presented

Fifth grade IEP goals or objectives for writing

Opinion writing at a Fifth-grade level requires that the student can:

  1. Write an introduction to the main topic with a clearly stated opinion with an organizational structure that lists reasons to support their topic

  2. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details

  3. Link reasons and opinions using words, phrases, and clauses such as consequently and specifically

  4. Write a concluding statement related to the opinion presented


Common writing assignments for elementary school


Elementary school writing emphasizes opinion writing, informative/explanatory writing, and narrative writing primarily. A writing assignment is often kept to one page with the instructions encouraging students to include pictures as a way to expand their stories beyond their current vocabulary levels.

When it comes to text and purpose, some common writing assignments include writing book reports, summaries, persuasive essays, and descriptions.

Depending on the grade level the measurable IEP goals can vary but the writing instruction will have a lot of similarities. Many of the child's IEP goals may include proper essay structure, to create five paragraph essays, demonstrate well developed main ideas, or the traditional five sentence paragraph. The level of sentence complexity and subject matter is the largest key factor in determining the mastery level.


Sample IEP goals for written expression


There are several components that go into the writing process. Some examples include pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, reteaching/scaffolding, and fluency.


Higher order components such as planning, transcribing (drafting), reviewing and modifying are all examples of written expression.

  1. Planning is a higher order component that entails thinking about things in advance.

  2. Translating ( drafting) entails understanding the original material, which may involve analysis and synthesis. The process of translation includes lower-level transcription abilities (such as handwriting and typing).

  3. Reviewing entails going over the piece to correct any errors and make sure it makes sense.

  4. Modifying entails making changes to improve a piece of writing.


Writing is a process, not a product. A student may be able to write their thoughts down on paper or type them into a computer but that doesn't mean they can form organized and complex sentences and paragraphs. By incorporating measurable IEP goals with clearly defined writing skills students will gradually independently develop reading fluency and reading comprehension skills as well.

Reading comprehension and written expression are often referred to as reciprocal skills. When reading comprehension and written expression skills are tied together across multiple content areas supported by IEP goals a student's progress will be significant.


Pre-writing IEP goals

  1. By (date), when given a ten note cards set write a sequenced five paragraph essay outline

  2. By (date), when given a storyboard to organize their thoughts write a sequenced five paragraph essay outline

  3. By (date), when given a brain map graphic organizer right a brain map of a five paragraph essay

  4. By (date), when given a graphic organizer, use the keyword outline process write an outline for a given essay topic

Revising IEP goals

  1. By (date), when given a revision assignment, rewrites sentences for clarity and grammar correction

  2. By (date), when given a revision assignment, delete unnecessary words to improve sentence clarity

Editing IEP goals

  1. By (date), when given a revision assignment, correct spelling and grammar errors

IEP writing goals for students?


A printable List of IEP Writing Goals by grade level can be found in our IEP goal bank


In conclusion, when it comes to elementary school assignments, there are a few key things that students need to be able to do in order to demonstrate mastery. These include being able to write opinion pieces, informative/explanatory essays, and narratives. Depending on the grade level, other measurable IEP goals may also include proper essay structure, developing well-developed main ideas, or writing using traditional five sentence paragraphs. In order for students with disabilities to reach these objectives, instruction must focus on the higher order skills of planning, transcribing (drafting), reviewing, and modifying. As students gradually learn how to independently carry out these steps in the writing process, their reading fluency and comprehension will also improve.


Thanks for reading! I hope that this article was helpful in understanding IEP goals and objectives for writing. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

3,784 views0 comments

No product