Writer’s Workshop: Everything You Need to Know

This is a writing program focused on strategies for composing written materials. Here, students are afforded the opportunity, space, and time to think, prewrite, draft out, read through, and edit their work, to the point where it can be published or simply shared for the consumption of others.

In other words, such a workshop involves an interdisciplinary writing technique that can build students’ fluency in writing through repeated and continuous exposure to the process of writing.

Teachers can use the following steps to create a writing workshop in their classroom:

Step 1: Setting up a framework

A typical writing workshop can be divided into four daily activities:

  •         A writing mini-lesson – where the teacher introduces a new concept, topic, or skill to the class and asks students to apply it in their write-ups
  •         Work check – where the teacher tracks the work each student will handle that day
  •         Student work – where students write, revise, and edit their writing
  •         Sharing with the entire class – where students share their writing with the entire class or ask/answer questions related to their write-ups

Step 2: Teach how to become a writer

Teachers shouldn’t just guide students on how to write but also teach them how to team up with their peers, respond to them, and improve their own write-ups based on peer feedback.

Step 3: Form a writing community

Teachers should provide spaces in their classrooms that support group and individual work, thus helping students learn from each other and on their own.

Step 4: Provide various models and topics

Models help students notice how other writers have given shape to their ideas in the form of stories and essays. Giving students multiple topic choices is equally crucial, as it’ll help them pick topics they feel interested in.

Step 5: Allow students to work at a pace that suits them

On a particular day, some students in a writer’s workshop may be researching a topic, while others could be revising or drafting. A handful of students may even have completed one write-up and started work on the next. This makes it important for teachers to allow students to work at their own pace.

Step 6: Seek peer feedback

Teachers should form peer response groups where students get feedback on their write-ups from their peers, which will help them strengthen their writing skills and feel part of the writing community.

Step 7: Offer adequate support

Teachers should offer advice and suggestion to students, as and when needed, during their independent writing time.

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