Teach the writer, not the writing. - Lucy Calkins
The writer’s workshop is an approach in which students take on the role of writers/producers and spend most of their time engaged in the act of writing or producing a text. Through writing workshop the classroom becomes a community of writers where students share and read each other’s work and offer suggestions and support. Teachers who use a writer’s workshop model in their classrooms realize its potential to both motivate writers and develop competency.
Through exposure to a wide variety of texts and well-planned mini-lessons, students explore the ways writers craft their texts. Students read like writers and write like readers.
Immersion into text is the foundation of the production process by providing students with opportunities to explore and analyze a variety of text types, genres and purposes for writing in addition to the investigation of the styles and techniques of favourite authors that allows students to experiment with these in their own writing.
There are different ways to approach the immersion into texts. Here graphic memoirs are grouped in order for students to read like writers before using a production process to create personal graphic memoirs.
Along with immersion into test, the writer’s workshop has a specific framework that allows time for teacher mini-lessons and modeling of process to independent writing time and time for conferencing and feedback and sharing.
Download the Writer’s Workshop Framework.
Mini-lesson for the writer’s workshop.
Conferencing strategies to support students during the production process.
Writer’s Notebook is a tool for collecting ideas and information as well as a space for free writing and quickwrites.
Inspiration for Writing offers ideas and stategies for inspiring writing.
Write in the Middle: A Workshop for Middle School Teachers offers video workshops designed to help teachers learn effective practices and strategies to use with secondary students in writing workshops.
Reflections on Writer’s Workshop by middle school teacher Linda Rief offers a view into her classroom.
Mark Pennington’s 12 Tips for Teaching the Reading-Writing Connection offers description and strategies for reinforcing the reading-writing connection.