Moderate to Severe Students Writing for the Alternate Assessment

 Students with moderate to severe disabilities are required to complete the Alternate Assessment for state testing. This testing usually covers the areas of math, writing, and reading. In some states, science and social studies are also required. In KY, we are required to test students in grades 3-12 in all of the areas listed. Although, students are tested in different areas depending upon their grade level.


When working on different activities to teach the standards, writing seems to be the most difficult for me. Most of my students are not writers. Therefore, these standards becomes even more challenging. Students are required to complete a variety of writing tasks, one of which, is writing a research paper for the alternate assessment. This can be very perplexing.


When completing this project, I use different versions of the same activity. My students that can write are required to complete the more complex tasks. Other students are able to write using choice making. All students are given the choice of determining what question is to be answered in the paper. Students also begin to understand how to research the paper using various sources. Students work with Google, encyclopedias, and magazines as possible sources.


All papers have to include the different sections of a paper, a variety of sources, a cover page, and a source list. Typically, this unit takes a minimum of two weeks to complete. It is always a very interesting read of the final products. When viewing the final products, the students are usually pleased to see how their hard work has paid off.

How do you teach these difficult topics? In our store, we have a variety of writing units to assist in this instruction for elementary, middle, and high school students. Visit our webpage to view the writing activities.