In a Writer’s Workshop classroom, students write frequently, for extended periods of time and on topics of their OWN CHOOSING! Yes! I said it! If you want to know why, read my last post with the research. I know it all seems very scary, but it’s not. I promise.
However, kids are not going to naturally know what to write about! You do have to teach kids how to find topics. That is what this post is all about. We need kids to have infinite seeds for writing.
Seeds- things that could bloom if planted and tended to! Not all seeds grow just like not every story idea kids have will bloom, but we need a place for kids to keep those ideas!
Just like real writers- we want to give our kids a place to collect and potentially plant seeds for writing.
There is a name for this special place- it’s called a Writer’s Notebook.
Writer’s Notebooks are just simply a composition notebook, or a steno notebook, or copy paper stapled between two pieces of construction paper! It is not what they look like that matters, as much as what is inside them. Here is mine…. I’m pretty proud of it.
I challenge you right now, as you read this to commit to making your OWN Writer’s Notebook!
After all… the best writing teachers are writers themselves (or are trying to be). So… get a notebook and commit to putting in SEEDS!
The only thing that CAN’T go in the notebook is the whole story! Save that for your drafting paper. Anything else though, the answer is yes! Pictures? YES! Lists of favorite places? YES!
A Leaf from a special trip with your best friend? YES!
The notes you kept of your contractions before you headed to the hospital? YES!
Make it yours. Make it special! Fill it with things YOU could write about.
Today with teachers in Wichita Falls we all made our notebooks. And we filled it with two lists. One for SUNSHINE and one for LIGHTNING. Sunshine things are all the things that make you happy and that you like. LIGHTNING then are the things you dislike or things that scare you. So many of these things lead to ideas for stories. What’s on your list?
Wouldn’t your students just love this? Ownership for writing on topics of their own choosing!
What are you waiting for? Go get your crayons! And keep checking this blog for more ideas of what to put in YOUR (and your students) Writer’s Notebooks.