People often ask me, “Where do I start with teaching writers workshop lessons?” My head swims with ideas! You’ve probably gathered by now that I LOVE teaching literacy; especially writing. I have written before about setting up for writers workshop and how the use of author studies is a great way to integrate writing skills into the teaching of writing. It wasn’t until now that I started putting together years of writing instruction with 2nd and 3rd grade kids into one comprehensive unit called Hooked on Writing.
What is Hooked on Writing?
This writers workshop lesson set is designed to be a systematic approach to teaching writing that uses 4 mentor texts in each unit to teach the writing concepts that are required for students to become proficient writers.
The best part is that this program has been designed to HOOK your writers. Read on to find out how I do that. (This set is now available as a whole year bundle! Click here to see it.)
Hooked on Writing will align to any Write Traits Program and CCSS as well as many Canadian writing units and programs. In unit 1, I have included information on the principles of good writing to give you a starting reference point. I have also included pictures and information on setting up your writing program and writing area for success.
How to Begin
This first unit of writers workshop lessons is about teaching students what writing is and what it can be. It is to get kids comfortable with writing and exposed to different kinds of writing. Included is an anchor chart mini poster set on concepts about writing that you can print and post, or recreate on larger poster board yourself.
There are pocket chart words that relate to writing to put into your pocket chart or include as a display for your writing center.
One thing that is VERY important to your initial writing set up and planning is assessment for learning. Using a writing inventory is quick and easy to use and even easier for you to analyze to plan your next lessons. There are ways to interpret the data and group kids for your own teaching purposes. For example, kids that don’t like to write but are good at it, or kids that have great ideas but struggle to express them.
A personal writing assessment is included so that you can use it to see a writing sample at the beginning of your program. I usually follow up with the same one at the end of the year and I am always AMAZED and proud of the growth my students have shown after using the HOOKED on WRITING lessons with them throughout the year. (I’ve given suggestions for K, 1-2, 3-5 in case you want to differentiate or use it if you teach a different grade next year.) It comes with colored mini anchor charts for Option 1 All About Me and Option 2 My Favorite Season.
A Variety of Active Learning Lessons
Kids think that writing is just a pencil and paper task. It is SO much more than that. In fact, I am encouraging lots of discussion in this first unit and I give you discussion ideas as part of the mentor text section. I also give you some quick write ideas to get your kids writing, posters to motivate and detailed lessons with 4 mentor texts as a method to introduce writing and some of the feelings kids may have before they learn to expand their writing skills.
You will need 4 mentor texts for Unit 1. They are:
How the Units are Set Up
In the 9 units to follow, you will find 4 more mentor texts with each unit that will be used to teach the writing skills for that unit.
After the introductory August unit (that uses 2 mentor texts), the units will have more activities to go with each book (4 books for each unit) that will allow your students to practice the focus skill for that unit.
The units are in order and each one builds on the previous one to create a comprehensive scaffolded program. If you have taught many of the concepts and are interested in just one unit, it can also stand alone.