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Writer’s Notebook

A writer’s notebook gives you a place to live like a writer, not just in school during writing time but wherever you are, at any time of day. Ralph Fletcher

A writer's notebook is a place to record ideas, words and thoughts and is an essential tool for a writer.

Catherine Goodwin, author of the young adult novel Seeking Shelter always keeps a notebook beside her bed when she’s working on a story. “Be prepared,” she advises young writers. “The best ideas for a story often pop into your head in the middle of the night and they’re lost by morning if you don’t write them down."

Teacher and writer Penny Kittle starts the school year with an immersion in notebook writing. Students write an autobiography in words and images to gather ideas for future writing topics. Students then highlight parts they want to develop in future writing pieces.

Download Ideas for Writer's Notebook. Students can keep this in the front of their notebooks.

 

Additional Resources

Penny Kittle offers information on the ways her students use their notebooks as a starting point for future writing. She includes information on the different writing prompts she uses with her students. 

Ralph Fletcher has one of the best websites to go to for information about keeping a writer’s notebook. Speaking directly to the young writer, he offers suggestions on how to use the notebook, ideas to jumpstart the imagination, thoughts about revision and more. 

Teachers Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres blog at Two Writing Teachers. Their website offers information on how they use writers’ notebooks in their classrooms. Check out their slide presentations by clicking on the links below. You can download them to your computer.

100 Quickwrites by Linda Rief offers an introduction to her book. 

An introduction to visual journals is offered at LEARN Québec.  

Emma Dajskea from Rookie Magazine offers tips on ways to start putting ideas on paper that are authentic and easy to integrate into any writer’s notebook.