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Writer’s Workshop

Every writer writes a lot of stuff that is not so good. We have to: that is how we get to the good stuff. Katie Wood Ray


Writer’s Workshop is an approach to writing that is perfectly aligned with the principles of differentiation. During writer’s workshop, students write as often as possible for real purposes about things that matter to them.

The Workshop Model Encourages:

Flexibility There are opportunities for teachers to work with the whole class, small groups and individuals.
Students may be at different places in the writing process at any given time.
Mini-lessons can be differentiated to meet students’ writing needs.
There are options for using technology to support and/or extend learning.

Students make choices about :

  • their topic
  • the genre, style, materials, etc.
  • their audience
  • their purpose for writing
Student Engagement

Students enjoy writing about things that interest them. They share their writing with others. Confidence and motivation are high.

Respect for the Learner

All students are involved in an authentic context for writing. Struggling students actually get to practice skills in the context of real writing, and create a finished product that makes them proud.

Continuous Growth

All students are working at their readiness level so frustration is minimized. Students are supported in demonstrating growth as writers.

Shared Responsibility

Students can:

  • be involved in developing criteria for writing
  • talk about how authors craft their texts
  • keep writer’s journals and try out different ideas for writing
  • reflect on their writing and set goals
  • keep portfolios with samples of writing that demonstrates growth over time


Additional Resources

Find out more about Writer’s Workshop in the writing/production section of Literacy Today. 

Write in the Middle : A Workshop for Middle School Teachers is a series of 8 video programs designed to help teachers learn effective practices and strategies to use with secondary students in writing workshops. The 8 videos can be viewed free of charge on your computer.