Disciplines other than English offer opportunities for students to write for authentic purposes, for a range of audiences, in both single and multimodal forms. Moreover, in subjects such as Science, History, Geography and Mathematics, writing can be used as a tool for learning the content that is specific to those disciplines as well as for communicating knowledge and understanding of subject-specific content. However, as students move into the upper primary school years and beyond, the content knowledge demands of each discipline increase. Discipline specific vocabulary becomes more necessary for teachers and students, as do the particular text types that need to be read and written. For example, as students proceed through schooling, the reports and procedural texts they are required to read and write in Science become longer and contain more complex technical terminology. Similarly, primary source texts in History, such as journals and recounts, include increasingly abstract or complex language features. The use of online texts as information sources adds further challenge.
To illustrate the power of writing across disciplines, this chapter shares classroom vignettes where students in the upper primary school years are afforded opportunities to learn across disciplines while simultaneously developing their meaning-making practices through writing. In the chapter, the vignettes focus on writing in Science, Geography, Mathematics, History and Visual Arts. In the vignettes, particular writing strategies are demonstrated, including modelled, shared, guided and interactive writing. Pseudonyms are used for references to students and teachers.