Culturally relevant writing instruction has the potential to validate the voices of students often not heard. Documented disparities in student writing proficiency in grades K-12 indicate a pressing need to employ more effective approaches in facilitating writing instruction. This paper presents the findings of a mixed methods research study that explored eighth grade English I students’ middle school reading and writing preferences, writing experiences, and the impact of culturally relevant writing instruction. Data were gathered from 63 students via reflective journals, writing interest forms, learning logs, and writing artifacts collected throughout a 3-week writing unit. Our findings reveal that writing instruction that leverages students’ interests, experiences, and cultural background has the potential to increase learning outcomes for students.



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