Writer's Workshop

Putting Words on Paper to Change the World

"Writing workshop is a structure, a series of routines, for organizing time, resources, and interaction in the classroom that encourages active, student-centered writing activities in which students make decisions about what will be written."

Pre-Writing / Planning

  • Think about your topic or idea

  • Draw a picture

  • Talk about your idea or topic

  • Make a list

  • Make a web

  • Look at your Heart Map

  • Just begin writing! 

Free-Writing / Drafting

  • Write as best you can

  • Continue a piece of writing or start a new one

  • Respect others who are writing

  • Choose a better time for:

    • Sharing

    • Colouring

    • Drawing

    • Going to the washroom

    • Filling your water bottle

    • Asking questions


  • What do you want to improve in this piece?

  • Talk about your writing

  • Read a little bit

  • What are listeners/readers focused in on?

  • Ask questions of the writer and writing

  • Provide feedback and encouragement

Mini Lesson

  • Narrative: To tell a story
  • Informational: To explain, describe, or inform
  • Argument/Opinion: To convince using logic and reason
  •  Adding details
  • Creating a lead or hook
  • Ending the piece
  • Using sequence and transition words
Three stages of Talk for Writing
  • Imitation: Children learn and explore a story, internalizing the language patterns and ideas. 
  • Innovation: the teacher models how to create a new version. Children develop their own new version, making changes to the original. 
  • Invention: Children work more independently to create their own new version. 
** Dive Deeper into Talk for Writing**

Independent Writing

  • Students work on the chosen writing craft/learning target from the mini lesson 

  • Students may go back and find an old piece to improve or start a new one

  • Students practice the skills of a writer in an authentic manner

  • Teachers can confer with writers

  • Opportunity for the teacher to work with a small group


  • Focus the lesson back to the goal

  • Students share how the mini lesson has helped them become wise writers

  • Students share strategies and thinking with peers regarding the goal of the lesson

  • Students can reflect and revisit prior learning while connecting it to the mini lesson 

  • Students can check in on their personal goals

  • Opportunity for a quick assessment of where students are at in order to plan for the next lesson