Launching the Writing Workshop (K-2)

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Launching the Writing Workshop (K-2)
Thwart! A New ""
ExceUe.ut"""'~_
Schools
Session Summaries: Units of Study
Launching the Writing Workshop (K-2)
This book will offer you a plan for every moment of beginning the writing workshop. As
in all of the books in this series, Lucy and Leah present both the precise language and
pacing of their teaching and the reasoning behind it, so that you can create the same
powerful experiences with your own children.
Unit Targets
Students will be able to:
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choose a topic, sketch it, and write a tiny bit about it.
keep working by adding more to their picture or words or by starting a new piece of writing.
find and take care of writing supplies.
decide on a topic, envision it, and record that meaning on the page with drawings that are
representational.
draw as best they can and keep going.
write pictures and words.
separate out the many sounds they hear in words and write down the letters that correspond to
those sounds.
listen hard to how words start so they can get those first letters down on the page for their readers.
accept their own approximate spellings in order to tell more about their stories.
match the sound they hear in the word they want to write with the letter that represents it, using an
alphabet chart with pictures for help.
see that they can add more writing to the same piece, and they'll use a system to separate finished
from unfinished work.
plan for and write a book with several pages.
write in a range of genres, for a range of purposes.
realize that during every section of the room and part of the day, there are reasons to write.
fix up and revise their writing so it says everything they mean it to say before it's sent out in the
world.
reread, check, and edit their writing to make sure it's readable.
read a favorite part of their writing to the whole class, then all of their writing to a small group.
PREFACE:
A committee of instructional coaches and teachers with deep understanding
of and experience with Units of Study, have created one page summaries of
each writing session with clear targets. They want to emphasize, however,
that they are not a substitute for reading the lessons; they are a guide to
help teachers when planning and teaching. And they are working
documents-feel free to revise them and make them your own. In addition,
the following support materials have been created for you:
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A grade to grade scope and sequence.
State Standards student tracking sheets for each grade level.
An alignment of State Standards to Units of Study
Anchor papers for each grade: this is what a proficient writing sample is.
A K-2 Scoring Guide (in draft stage)
Providing writing instruction for students is a collaborative effort of K-12
teachers. It is important that each teacher uses our core writing program.
A core curriculum allows students to build on what they learned the year
before. Consistency in language, formats, and models allows students to
focus on deeper understanding of concepts and skills. What a student did
last year connects to what he is doing this year. The second or third time a
student experiences a unit of study, keener insights lead to a more thorough
transfer of skills to their writing. Teachers also know what concepts were
taught. Writing samples can be passed on from grade to grade.
Ellen Chaimov, Jennifer Darlington, Dawn Relin, Kari Tunstill, Kalei Ostreim
Jessica Orth, Jennifer Dove Kiltow, Bev Guttag, Rose O'Brien, Vicki Beraka
Tara Black, Gary Peterson
2.1.10
Units of Study and English Language Learners:
Before the Mini-Lesson
Teach brief pre-mini-Iessons (5-7 min.) for English-Learners prior to the whole-class minilesson to introduce new vocabulary, sentence frames, language structures, organization or other
information. To make this manageable, keep in mind:
• Pre-mini-lessons are not needed before every mini-lesson (use them as needed to teach key
vocabulary, specific writing/editing skills, introduction to new writing genres, etc.)
• On days that you do teach a pre-mini-lesson, have the rest of the class rereading their writing
with their partner during this time. This benefits the rest of the class by reminding students of
the prior day's writing as well as providing students with a focus for continuing their writing
during the current day's workshop.
Mini-Lesson
• Use examples of experiences you KNOW students have had (e.g. use the example of your class
field trip on the bus rather than an airplane ride to Disneyland).
• When modeling writing for students during your mini-lesson, add sketches whenever possible
to aid comprehension. e.g. sketch/label new vocabulary, sketch your "small moment" story,
use pictures and/or realia
• If you are using a graphic organizer, model its use step-by-step.
· ·Use a lot of wait time as EL students will need to process the spoken and written English of
the mini-lesson prior to making personal connections for their writing.
• In addition to verbal and written directions, it is critical for English-Learners that you provide a
clear model of the directions. Keep in mind the multiple modalities of all learners, and use
best practices to provide directions in the modality and frequency that meets each student's
learning-style.
After the Mini-Lesson
• Provide students with sentence frames to start their writing, and post the sentence frames in a
place where students can see them from their desks. Model for students how the sentence
frames can be used to write about the content displayed on charts throughout the room.
• Check-in daily with English-Learners as they head out to Writing Workshop to make sure that
they have a focus for writing and that they understand the day's directions.
• Give students a choice of topics, but provide support for students in making their choice so
that they are picking topics that fit with the language they know.
• Engage students with real world purposes. e.g. writing a letter to a family member, writing a
story to read to a younger sibling, retelling stories they have heard or read, etc.
Writing Workshop
• Allow students to brainstorm/plan in their first language, rather than in English, as this may be
the best way to get their ideas flowing. This could look like:
o Peer conferencing with a buddy who speaks same native language
o Brainstorming lists of topics in native language; use picture files and books in native
language to help generate ideas
o Completing a graphic organizer in native language
• When the curriculum suggests assigning writing partners, pair English-Learners with someone
they will feel comfortable sharing/speaking with, and also with someone who will provide a
good model of spoken English; in this situation the best partner for an English-Learner is not
necessarily another student of the same native language.
• Personal Word Walls (Lucy Calkins Writingfor Readers: Teaching Skills and Strategies, K-2
Unit 3, pg. 57) can be effective tools for English-Learners when they are created for
individuals rather than used with table groups. Individual students can add sketches or prompts
to their word walls to aid their comprehension.
• Set student-specific writing goals or develop a student-specific editing checklist. Select one to
two editing goals to focus on at a time.
• Allow beginning English-Learners to write in their native language, to represent ideas
pictorially and with labels, and to dictate their writing to the teacher or other adult. Eventually
they might be willing to share the dictation orally (during the After the Workshop Share), and
then perhaps even write the simple story themselves.
• Keep expectations high, but modify assignments and expected outcomes to accommodate for
students' language proficiency levels. If the only way a student can complete an assignment is
with significant 1: 1 support, then the assignment is neither appropriate nor meaningful.
• Make use of other adults to provide multiple opportunities for feedback and student writing
conferences, but ensure adults have been trained in conferring with writers.
• Help advanced EL students to refine their writing, spot errors, and expand their vocabulary.
After the Workshop Share
• Celebrate students' writing, as well as the individual writing proficiency levels of each student.
It is okay to publish and celebrate writing that is not perfect and/or writing-in-progress.
• Allow sharing options:
• Share in native language
• Share in a small group or with a partner
• Share with younger students
• Choosing not to share or choosing to have the teacher share for them
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 1
Lesson Title: Starting the Writing Workshop
Target: Students will be able to choose a topic, sketch it, and write a tiny bit
about it.
Connection
There is another reason why you guys are so lucky to be _ _ __
graders this year! This year you will learn to become great readers,
and you will also learn to become terrific writers! Writers, did
anyone notice all of the books we have in our classroom? (Hold up
a few books.) These books were written by authors, and this year
you will all be authors, too. Today we will be authors, and I will
show you what authors do.
Teaching Point
"Watch what I do when I write. Demonstrate developing a story
idea ("Hmm not rainbows, I've never done anything with a
rainbow!) I think I will write about a time when I was reading
outside and I realized I couldn't go back in my house because the
doors were locked! I am going to draw that time. (Sketch picture.)
Now I will write the words. (Label pictures, then write 2 short
sentences, sounding out each word as you write) Writers, did you
notice what I just did? I thought about something that happened to
me and I got it in my head. Today and every day you can do the
same thing. You can think about things in your life and you can
write about them." (Give possible examples.)
(Mention 5 times
during the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Close your eyes and think of something you can draw and write
about. Open your eyes and tell someone what you might write
about today."
(2 min .. .then "Eyes up here please")
Link
"Writers, I know you are ready to get your great stories onto your
paper. When I call you, please come up and get your writing paper
and your writer's pencil. Then go back to your desk and get started
doing what writers do. I will come around to admire the great work
you are doing."
After the
Workshop
Share
At the end of the children's work time, ask them to put their work
away and gather them to share their work. Ask children to share
their work by holding it up for the world to see. Point out what you
hope they will do in their writing-include details, depict a small,
important moment, write words. End the workshop time with an
exclamation of excitement for the writing to come and the start the
children have made.
Materials Needed: Books to hold up, Chart paper, Writing paper/pencils, Writing folders,
Paper to record conferences
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 2 Lesson Title: Carrying on Independently as Writers
Target: Students will be able to keep working by adding more to their picture
or words or by starting a new piece of writing.
Connection
Praise students for sitting correctly and in the right spots. "Writers,
today and every day we will begin our writing workshop with a
mini-lesson." Tell students the parts of a mini lesson and that their
job when you teach in a mini-lesson is to listen and learn. "Writers
yesterday you each did what real authors do - thought of something
in your life, got a picture in your mind, and then drew or wrote
about it. (Hold up examples of work from yesterday) You all did a
great job thinking and drawing and writing but then ... we had a
problem." (Explain problem of students saying that they were
done). Teach: "When you're done, you've just begun."
Teaching Point
Pretend it is yesterday and you are finishing your story about not
being able to get into your house. Pretend to finish ... There, I'm
done! Now watch ... Demonstrate adding to pictures, words, getting
a new piece of paper because you thought of a new story. "Do you
see what writers do when we are done?" Show chart and explain
that these are the 3 things you just did.
(Mention 5 times
during the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Writers close your eyes and imagine you are finishing your
writing. Act out ... There I'm fmished! But then you remember this
mini-lesson and you imagine yourself pulling in again close to the
paper. Think ... can I add more to my picture? To my words? Or
should I go get more paper and start another? If you need more
paper, it will be in a tray in the middle of your table."
Link
"So today I know that none of you will come up to me and tell me
that you are done ... because when you're done, you've just begun! I
can't wait to see you following our new chart. Let's see if the
writers at the orange table can zoom to their seats and start their
writing work."
After the
Workshop
Share
After you gather the children together on the rug again, sum up
what they have learned so far. You can do this by celebrating what
they have done today.
Materials: Chart tided ''When You .AI.e Finished" (with pictures), student work from session
1, a tray of writing paper, and writing folders on desks.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 3 Lesson Title: Using Supplies Independently
Target: Students will be able to find and take care of writing supplies.
Connection
"Writers, may I have your eyes please? I am proud of all the work
you have been doing during the Writing Workshop. You have been
writing about things that matter to you, just like writers do. Today I
want to teach you that writers have special tools and we take care of
them. I will teach you how to get and take care of the supplies you
need to write."
Teaching Point
"Every writer needs pencils/pens close by so if you get an idea, you
can just reach for a pen!" (Point to pens on your desk--this is what
grown-ups do.) Explain writer's toolboxes and crates for folders-how these will be passed out quickly, so that no one wastes a
precious moment of writing time.
(Mention 5 times
during the lesson)
Active
Engagement
Practice having one child from each table hop up and quickly place
supplies on a table. "Let's see if they can do this quickly so we
won't waste a moment of precious writing time."
Link
"Writers this is how we will always get our room ready for Writing
Workshop. When I call you, you can go quickly from our meeting
area to your desk to begin writing."
Mid Point
Lesson
Stop students during writing to address problems (such as
talking about topics other than writing; "this is not fair because we
are trying to do our best work as writers"). Practice saying,
"Writers" and waiting for children to stop and look up ... explain
that whenever I say, "Writers," they need to stop working and look
at you.
Materials: Toolbox for each table with pens/pencils (color-coded for tables), writing folders, writing
paper.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 4 Lesson Title: Telling Stories in Illustrations
Target: Students will be able to decide on a topic, envision it, and record that
meaning on the page with drawings that are representational.
Connection
Remind students about some of the ways they have rehearsed their
writing before they've written such as closing eyes to think of an
idea.
Teaching Point
"Writers today I am going to show you something I hope you all
will do today. I will close my eyes and get a story of something
I've done in my head. (Close eyes dramatically to think of a story.)
Ok I've got it!" (Think of shared class experience) Think aloud to
draw details of story. "Do you see how I'm putting the whole story
in my picture?"
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Turn to the person next to you and think of what other parts of the
story I could put in my illustration." (Listen in - pick 2 ideas and
add to drawing)
Link
"Today and every day as you write, make sure you picture
something that happened to you and put the details of the story into
your drawings. Let's get ready to write. Close your eyes. Once you
get a story into your head, open your eyes and give me a thumbs up
so I know you're ready to write."
After the
Workshop
Share
Ask children to study an illustration that contains enough details to
tell a story in itself. As them to do the same kind of studying with
their own pictures. Suggest to children that they could add details
to their own illustration; show them an example.
Materials: Chart paper/marker to draw, shared class experience to write about.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 5 Lesson Title: Drawing Even Hard-to-Make Ideas
Target Students will be able to draw as best they can and keep going
Connection
"Writers 1 have been so excited about what you have been
drawing/writing about. But sometimes 1 see you excited about a
great idea but then you're not sure how to draw it. Sometimes you
even decide not to write about your great idea because you're not
sure how to draw it! That is so sad because we miss out on your
great stories. Today 1 will teach you what to do when you get that
'Oh no! 1 don't know what to draw. '"
Teaching Point
Use story of shared class experience. Model beginning to draw it
and then getting stuck on a hard-to-draw part. Stop and contemplate
giving up and drawing something easy, like flowers. But then
dramatically decide not to give up and just do "the best 1 can and
keep going."
(Mention 5 times
during the lesson)
Active
Engagement
Get stuck one more time on something hard to draw. Ask students
to turn to person next to them and decide what you should
do ... should you just give up and draw something easy? Elicit
response of "I should do the best 1 can and keep going". Share this
response with the class as if they just came up with that idea.
Link
"Writers, today I'm hoping that if you get to a tricky part of your
picture that you will do what 1 did and draw it the best you can and
not give up!"
Mid Point
Lesson
Stop class mid-workshop to point out a student who has a
hard-to-draw idea but is not giving up and doing the best they can
to draw it.
Materials: Chart paper/marker to draw, shared class experience to write about.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 6 Lesson Title: Using Both Pictures and Words, Like Famous
Authors
Target: Students will be able to write pictures and words.
Connection
"Writers 1 have loved learning so much about you from your
writing! (Cite 2 examples of things you have learned) During the
Writers Workshop each of you have thought of things that you care
about and put them on the page. 1 can look at your drawings and
stories and learn about your lives!"
Teaching Point
"Today 1 want to teach you that writers use pictures and words
when they write." Hold up book that students have heard before
that has a picture on top of the page and words on the bottom. Point
out where the picture is and where the words are. Ask a student to
come up and point to the words. Say: "I am telling you this because
you can do the exact same thing this author has done - put a picture
on the top of your page and words on the bottom." Hold up (for
example,) a Richard Scarry book. "This author does it a little
differently; he draws his pictures and then goes back and labels
important things. "You can do either of these things, but you need
to put pictures and words in your writing."
(Mention 5 times
during the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"You have a new piece of writing paper in front of you. Point to
where you will draw the picture. Point to where you will write the
words."
Link
"So writers, today 1 am hoping that each of you will use pictures
and words to tell your story."
After the
Workshop
Share
When children have gathered together again, ask one student to
read his or her writing to the rest of the class. Ask the students to
talk to each other about what they noticed abut that student's work.
Select a few more students to read their writing.
Materials: Two familiar books--one that has a picture on each page with a sentence or two (e.g.,
Corduroy by Don Freeman) and one that has labeled drawings (Donald Crews, Richard Scarry),
writing paper.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 7 Lesson Title: Stretching and Writing Words:
Target: Students will be able to separate out the many sounds they hear in
words and write down the letters that correspond to those sounds.
Connection
"Writers, I took your writing home last night and I felt like I had
brought home a big pile of books from our library." Hold up some
books. "Just like these writers write about all sorts of things, you
write about all sorts of things. And just like these authors use
pictures and words, most of you do that too. Today I want to show
you how to decide what letters to put on the page when I'm writing
my words."
Teaching Point
Show drawing you have done and tell students what you decided to
write about. Pick a short sentence you have decided to write, such
as "I saw a cat." Act out writing ("That's easy") and then sounding
out each part of "saw", one sound at a time, rereading as you go.
"Writers, did you notice that I fIrst said what I wanted to write,
broke down the sounds and reread each sound?"
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Will you help me to keep going?" Reread what you wrote so far: I
saw a
Let's say what's next. Ask students to pretend to
write the word on their hands as you write it on the chart paper.
Then reread sentence. Ask what comes next - cat. Stretch out the
word "like a rubber band" - say it this way with the class several
times. Sound out each part of the word with the class - ask them to
name the sounds they hear and tell them what letter makes that
sound.
Link
"Today, try to write words down on your page, just like real authors
do. Say them, stretch them out, write what you hear, reread and say
more."
After the
Workshop
Share
"Writers stop and look" - share something smart a student did, such
as needing another page to write more - take this time to
demonstrate stapling another page.
Materials: chart paper, marker, story idea, pile of familiar books, chalkboards/chalk for share
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 8 Lesson Title: Stretching and Writing Words: Initial Sounds
Target: Students will be able to listen hard to how words start so they can get
those first letters down on the page for their readers.
Connection
"We've been talking about writing our words the best we can.
We've been talking about stretching out words so that we can hear
the sounds in them. Today I want to show you how to get the main
sounds you hear in your words on the paper."
Teaching Point
Go back to story you previously started and decide to add another
sentence. "Watch me say the words and write down the sounds you
hear." Model this with two words in the sentence, sounding out
what you hear first, then what you hear later - not worrying about
spelling the word correctly (For example, "please" could be "pIs".)
"Did you notice how I said the word and wrote down what I heard
at the start of it? Then I said the word again and write down what I
heard next. I'm telling you this because you can do the same thing."
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
Do same technique for the next word (a longer word) in the
sentence, asking students what they hear at the beginning of the
word. Then say: "There are more sounds in this word. Everyone say
the word and listen for more sounds." Record additional sounds.
"What you are doing is smart. Keep on rereading and say "Are
there more sounds I could record?' Work with a friend and try to
think about what comes next.
Link
"So today, when you are writing your words, make sure that you
say the word once and write down what you hear in the beginning,
and then say the word again and write down the other sounds you
hear."
After the
Workshop
Share
Share with students the writing of one of their classmates, which
can get them excited about where their own writing is going (such
as a piece of writing that is very long.)
Materials: chart paper, marker
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 9 Lesson Title: Spelling the Best We Can ..... and Moving On
Target: Students will be able to accept their own approximate spellings in
order to tell more about their stories.
Connection
"A few days ago we talked about drawing the best we can and not
to worry if we felt like we couldn't do it. We said "I'll do my best"
and knew we would get better because we're working on it. Today I
want to tell you that when we write words, we need to say 'That
might not be perfect yet, but I'm going to spell the best I can and
keep going so I can say more.' You can get a lot of writing done if
you do this."
Teaching Point
Go back to picture that was hard to draw from lesson 5 and decide
to write a sentence to go with the picture. Pick a longer sentence
and write it fairly quickly, pausing briefly when unsure of a spelling
but then say, "Oh well, I'll leave it like that for now and keep
going."
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
Look at second picture from lesson 5. "Did you see how I just did
the best I could and kept going? Let's do this for the next page."
Have students use clipboards and paper to write a sentence as you
dictate it, pausing only briefly after each word to give students time
to write it. Halfway through say, "Writers, let's stop for a second!
Hold up your boards so I can admire what you did! Look how much
you got down!" Reread sentence together.
Link
"Today remember, if you want to put something on the paper and
you aren't sure how to draw it or how to write it just do the best you
can and keep going!" (Invite children to join in on the last part.)
After the
Workshop
Share
Choose children who took the mini -lesson to heart, whether they
enacted the advice exactly or found new solutions, and ask them to
tell the class about their experience.
Materials: chart paper, marker, prepared drawing, clipboards and paper
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 10 Lesson Title: Using Writing Tools: The Alphabet Chart
Target: Students will be able to match the sound they hear in the word they
want to write with the letter that represents it, using an alphabet chart with
pictures for help.
Connection
"Writers remember how this chart shows us how to find and write
letters? Today I am going to show you how this chart can help us in
Writers Workshop."
Teaching Point
"Watch me write, and notice how I use this chart. We'll talk in a
few minutes about what you notice." Demonstrate thinking of a
topic, and quickly telling a story while you draw. Then decide on a
sentence to tell about the picture. Model writing the sentence pretty
fluently, but getting stuck on a few words and using the alphabet
chart to find the right letters. (For example, get stuck on "have" and
find the picture "hat" on the alphabet chart, decide they start the
same way, so "have" must start with an h.)
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"So how did I use the chart to help me?" Have students share with
a partner. Call on only one student to tell how you used it. Reiterate
that when you were stuck on a word and couldn't remember what
letter to write, you used the chart to find the letter.
Link
"You can do the same thing I've done. You can use the alphabet
chart to help you, and guess what? I have your very own alphabet
charts for you when you get back to your seats."
After the
Workshop
Share
Find student who has used the alphabet chart to help them
and then stop the class to point it out.
Materials: enlarged alphabet chart (children should be familiar with it), chart paper/marker,
copies of alphabet charts.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 11 Lesson Title: Creating a Place for Writing-in-Progress: Long
Term Projects
Target: Students will be able to see that they can add more writing to the
same piece, and they'll use a system to separate finished from unfinished
work.
Connection
If possible, tell example of a student who had more to add to story
and had the idea to add another piece of paper to their writing. Tell
students why this is very smart because we want our stories to grow
and grow. "This is exactly what grownup authors do! We add on
and say more! But then - oh no! It's time for share! What can I do
with my work? I'm not finished! So today I will show you what
you can do to keep working on your story."
Teaching Point
"Look at my writing folder. You know how traffic lights have red
lights to say stop and green lights to say go? This side of the folder
for work that is finished - stopped- and this side is for the writing
I'm not finished with, with the green dot for go."
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Will you help me do this with my stack of writing? I'll tell you
about the piece and then you tell the person beside you if I should
put it in the red-dot side or the green-dot side. (Tell about each
piece of writing, making it obvious whether or not it is finished or
not.) Tell the person beside you if you think it should go in the
green dot or red dot side."
Link
"Today, let's put our pieces in either the red section of our folders if
the writing is finished or stopped, or in the green section if the work
is still ongoing. Today, before you write, you will need to go
through your writing from the start of the year and decide where it
should go. Today writers, when you get your folders, you'll see all
of your work is in a pile in the middle and you'll see a red-dot stop
pocket and a green-dot keep going pocket. The first thing to do
today is go through your work and divide it into the two piles - one
for finished work and one for ongoing work."
After the
Workshop
Share
Before children gather on the rug, show them how you filed your
current writing in the appropriate pocket of your folder. Ask
children to file their work and to talk over their decisions with a
partner.
Materials: Green and red dots for writing folders, staplers available in writing caddies, stack
of your own writing and writing folder with green/red dots, example of child's writing, if
available.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson #12 Lesson Title: Introducing Booklets
Target: Students will be able to plan for and write a book with several pages.
Connection
"Writers I am so excited about our Writing Workshop! Today we're
ready to take a big step. Most of us have been writing our stories on
one page. When we read stories in books, there is almost always
more than one page! Today you are going to start to write your
stories in books just like other authors!"
Teaching Point
Show students a book we have read. (Author's name) could have
written this story on one paper. (Show one page summary of book
pre-written on chart paper.) "But he decided to write his story as a
whole book." (Go through book showing how the story progresses
from page to page.) "I'm telling you this because you can do the
exact same thing! You can stretch your stories out and tell them
across a lot of pages."
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
Decide to write about something that happened to the class and
offer a too-short summary. Elicit that this is not a good first page.
Tell a friend what you might write on page one-just page one-for
this story. (Share with the class examples of first pages with
appropriate beginnings.) "These beginnings are both so smart. You
are both doing what _ does in his book." Read the first page of
the picture book.
Link
Show students pre-stapled booklets. "So writers, if you are starting
a new story today, you might want to write in a booklet that has
more than one page. Think about how the story will go. Try out
different beginnings in your mind because you'll want a beginning
that doesn't give everything away."
After the
Workshop
Share
Gather children and let them share their work with a partner. As
one writer who has taken the idea of the mini-lesson to heart (e.g.,
one who has written a lot) to share.
Materials: Pre-made booklets of 3-4 pages, large booklet for demonstration/marker, familiar
picture book, pre-written one page summary of book.
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 13 Lesson Title: Widening Writing Possibilities: Lists and Letters
Target: Students will be able to write in a range of genres, for a range of
purposes.
Connection
"Writers, so far this year we've been writing true stories. But of
course there are lots of kinds of writing in the world. When I care
about a topic, I sometimes write more that one kind of writing about
that topic, and you can do that, too."
Teaching Point
"One topic I love to write about is _ . Instead of writing another
story on this topic, I'm going to write about it in brand-new ways.
May I show you what it is my writing folder? (Show students a list
and a letter written about the same topic you have been writing
stories about.) Do you see how 1 took something 1 love and made a
list? Do you see how 1 took a topic 1 care about and wrote a letter
about that topic? I'm telling you this because you can do the exact
same thing!"
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"Close your eyes and think of a topic that it is important to you.
Think, 'What else could 1 write on my topic?' OK, now open your
eyes and tell a friend what your topic might be and what kind of
writing you might try."
Link
"I can't wait to see what you will write today. Writers, thumbs up if
you are ready to write."
After the
Workshop
Share
Choose some children who have taken the advice of the minilesson, children who have written pieces in a new genre, to share.
Materials: Example of a list and letter 1 have written (in my writing folder), Paper for lists
and letters for students
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 14 Lesson Title: Widening Writing Possibilities: Real-World
Purposes
Target: Students will be able to realize that during every section of the room
and part of the day, there are reasons to write.
Connection
"Writers, yesterday we talked about how a really good topic helps
get us going on other types of writing. Today I want to tell you
about another kind of thinking that helps me write. 1 think about all
the things I am doing today and I think 'Can writing help me do any
of those better?' I'll show you how this helps me come up with
writing projects for myself."
Teaching Point
Give students 3 examples of how you have used writing in your real
life. For example, show your plan book as a way to keep track of
what we will do every day, Show a note you wrote to a
teacher/parent, Show a card you made for someone, etc.
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"I want you to try this out." Tell students a story of something a
student wants to do and ask them to turn to the person next to them
and tell them what kind of writing this student might do. Provide
students with another daily event to practice. Then: "Before you go,
would you think about what you have been doing in your life and
think 'How could writing help me with that?' If you get an idea,
thumbs up."
Link
"OK, writers, lots of you seem like you are dying to write from
what is happening in your life. Let's get started."
After the
Workshop
Share
Demonstrate for students how you choose a piece of writing to
publish. "Did you see that 1 looked back over all my writing and
chose one 1 thought readers would like?" Ask students to follow
your example and choose a piece of writing to work on to publish at
the end of a unit.
Materials: Examples of writing 1 have done with real-life purposes
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 15 Lesson Title: Fixing Up Writing
Target: Students will be able to fix up and revise their writing so it says
everything they mean it to say before it's sent out in the world.
Connection
"Writers, since school began, you have been doing just what writers
do - thinking of ideas to write, planning your writing, picking paper
to match plans, writing as best you can and continuing to write ..
But yesterday we learned that writers also publish their work.
Today I'll show you how to do that because in a few days we need
to be ready for a publishing party."
Teaching Point "All through the world, when writers are ready to publish their
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
writing, the writer rereads all of their writing and chooses the best
one - we did that yesterday. Then writers get the piece ready to go
out into the world. Have you ever seen a person getting ready to be
married or graduate? Usually that person fancies themselves up.
The same happens with writing. Before writers send our writing out
for real readers to read, we fix it up and then we fancy it up."
Active
Engagement
Reread a story about a shared experience and ask students to help
you fix up my story. Elicit that a word is missing/an important part
of the story is missing. Say: "These are great ideas. Before I publish
my piece, I'll add in the missing word and reread what I've written
and see if I can fit anything else in."
Link
"So writers, today you'll take the piece you decided to publish and
you'll reread it and fix it up. Ask, 'Does this make sense?' 'How
can I fix it?' "What can I add?"
After the
Workshop
Share
Select some pieces of student writing to share with the class. The
pieces should demonstrate what you hope the children will all try to
do.
Materials: Short story written on chart paper about shared class experience
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 16 Lesson Title: Editing and Fancying Up Writing
Target: Students will be able to reread, check, and edit their writing to make sure
it's readable.
Connection
"Writers, today we're going to fix up our writing in another way. Today
we will edit our writing - that's what writers call it". Ask students to repeat
the word "edit." "When we edit our writing, we check everything to make
sure people can read it."
Teaching Point
Show students a piece of writing on chart paper. "Today I am going to edit
my own writing and I want you to watch how I reread my writing, making
sure that my words look right. Hmm I better get my finger underneath my
words so I can look at each word carefully." Model correcting 2 or 3
spelling mistakes of common words as you reread - cross our misspelled
word with a single line and write correct spelling above it. "So writers,
what did you notice I did to make sure my words looked right?"
(Mention 5
times during
the lesson)
Active
Engagement
"So let's try that again, together, with this story." Read a second storystudents should tell a partner if the word looks right or if you'd change it.
After you read the whole story, ask for suggestions.
Link
"So writers, look again at the writing you will be publishing at our
celebration on
. Reread it like it was your independent reading
book. Read it with your finger just like I did and check to make sure your
words look right - and when there is a work that doesn't look right, rewrite
it above so that it does look right."
"I can't believe how hard you've all been working on your
writing! You are almost ready to read your pieces at our celebration. Today
we are going to do something that many writers do - make our pieces
really beautiful. Today we're going to do this by going back to our pictures
and using colored pencils to add in more details. This is a way to make our
pieces really beautiful, and also to help the readers of our books understand
our stories even more." (Model doing this with your story - point out what
you will color first because it is really important to the story.) "Do you see
what I'm doing? I'm using the colored pencils to add more detail in my
pictures and to make them more beautiful and more meaningful. I'm telling
you this because you are all going to do the same thing in your writing. So
writers, I want you to think about this before you start." Ask students to
turn to a friend and talk about how they might use colored pencils today.
Then share some ideas with the rest of the class. "So writers, for the rest of
writing time, let's do what writers do and fancy up our pieces. Work
slowly and carefully so that you make your books even more beautiful."
Mid Point
Lesson
Materials: 2 stories written on chart paper to be edited
Unit 1: Launching the Writing Workshop
Lesson # 17 Lesson Title: Reading into the Circle: An Author's Celebration
Target: Students will be able to read a favorite part of their writing to the
whole class, then all of their writing to a small grou p.
*Practice the celebration the day before - students should know to go to carpet, sit in a circle
with their writing on their laps. They should know that after they read their favorite part/page of
their story, they should turn and look at the person to their right- that is the next child's cue to
start. Students should know what to do when moving to reading in small groups - where to go,
how to share their story.
"Writers, lets gather. It's finally time for our celebration! Welcome to Room _'s first writing
celebration. I am very proud of all that you have done in WW so far. You have learned to draw
pictures and write words about the things that matter to you. You have also learned that if you
get to a hard part, youjust do the best you can. You learned how to choose a piece of writing and
revise it and edit it. You did a great job. You should give yourself a round of a applause."
"Writers, let's start reading into the circle with __ ." Students will go around circle, reading
the favorite page/part of their book and turn to look at the person to their right when they are
finished. (Don't interrupt flow of reading - don't say anything until reading into the circle is
finished.)
"Now we can move to our tables, hear the whole pieces from the people in our groups, and share
our own writing!" (Send students to pre-determined areas to share stories.) After children have
all had a chance to read stories to their group ... "Writers may 1 have your attention? It looks like
most of you have finished reading and are ready to have refreshments. Could you carefully place
your lovely writing on the table and come join me at the refreshment table for a quick toast?"
(Pass QEtcups of juice - remind students not to drink yet.)
"I would like to make a toast (when someone says they are making a toast it means they are
about to say some really nice things). Writers, you have worked hard. You deserve this very
special day. May we continue to have writing celebrations that are as great as this one.
Congratulations! "
Give students time to drink juicelhave snacks and talk with friends about their writing.
*Create bulletin board - "We Are Writers!" Display students' work with a picture/quote from
child about writing or themselves as writers.
Materials: classroom decorations (balloons, sign), small snack, 2 or 3 line toast