Writer’s Workshop

In 4B, we love our daily Writer’s Workshop sessions.

In our Writer’s Workshop, we use Writer’s Notebooks and then the Writing Process to produce pieces of published writing.

A Writer’s Notebook is a tool that is used to help students collect ideas for writing. To personalise the Writer’s Notebooks, students decorated their books with colourful collages. They look fantastic!

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Last week, we wrote entries in our Writer’s Notebooks. This week, we are working on writing personal narratives. A personal narrative is a text about a personal experience or memory.

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This is how the Writing Process in our Writer’s Workshop works:

1. We generate ideas for writing on an ideas page in our Writer’s Notebooks. Ideas can be recorded at any opportunity.

2. We write short entries in our Writer’s Notebook to expand on our ideas.

3. We read through our entries and select one entry to draft.

4. We complete a brief plan prior to drafting to map out our personal narrative.

5. We draft our personal narrative in our draft books. We capture the essence of the text from the entry but the draft is more detailed. It also zooms in on the key idea.

6. We revise our draft by making changes to the content to improve the writing. This stage is all about working on the craft of writing. We can draft as few or many times as necessary to achieve the best possible draft.

7. We edit the final draft by checking the punctuation, grammar, spelling and ensuring it makes sense.

8. We publish the draft to turn it into a complete, polished piece of writing.

Our first writing genre for the year is personal narratives. We will complete other cycles of writing focussing on different genres throughout the year.

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We brainstormed the key features of a personal narrative and made a class anchor chart.

To learn more about personal narratives, we read some mentor texts that are examples of personal narratives. In particular we analysed two great texts, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.

We then discussed the importance of selecting a “small moment or memory”. We used the analogy of a watermelon to ensure our personal narratives would be focussed on a small “seed” idea, rather than a broad “watermelon” topic.

watermelon

 Here is our class watermelon with our small moment “seed” topics.

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What are the elements of a personal narrative?

Can you provide a tip for writing a quality personal narrative?

How have your writing skills developed so far this year?

36 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop

  1. We have been so fortunate to have Julie working with teachers and students on our Readers and Writers Workshops. As I move around the school I have been privilged to be able to read some of the most amazing pieces of writing produced by our talented students. There more importantly seems to have been a real increase in the passion for writing illustrating to me how wonderful your teachers have been in supporting you with your writing development.
    Great work BHPS!

    • Hi Mr Roskosch,

      I’m Emma and I hope you like our blog. I really enjoy using the blog and think it is an amazing way to communicate with other people, ie. with students, teachers and parents. I love your quality comment and hope you will be on Miss Jordan’s blog more often.

      From 4B student,
      Emma

      • Hi Emma,
        I agree with I love having the opportunity to share and talk to other students in BHPS and in my class.
        Thank you for the quality comment.
        From Elliot

    • Dear Mr Roskosch,
      Thank you for leaving a quality comment on our blog. I think it is great that you have been on our class blog. Our blog is a great way to communicate with other people, like teachers and other students. I really enjoy looking on the blog and reading the posts.

      I love writing! Someday I hope to be an author who is world famous and who writes great books. Narratives are my favourite type of writing because you can be really imaginative. My last narrative was about dwarfs. It was a humorous story that everyone loved.

      What is your favourite type of writing?
      Will you be on our blog regularly?
      From,
      Jema!

  2. Hi class,

    I am having so much fun writing my personal narrative. My favourite part is getting to choose our own topic for the personal narratives.

    I wrote about going to Magic Mountain. I went on the roller coaster.

    What did everyone else choose for their personal narratives?

    From Toby

    • Hi Toby,

      I am really enjoying the personal narratives my personal narrative is about my highest cricket score.

      From Donovan

      • Hi Donovan

        What was your highest score in cricket and who were you?
        We’re abouts did you play ?

        I hope your naritive is going well.

        Was I there?

        From TOBY

    • Hi Toby,
      I can’t wait to finish my personal narrative. I really like how we get to choose our own topic.

      I have been to magic mountain and it was really fun. My favourite thing was the water slide.

      Charlotte

      • Hi Charlotte

        At Magic mountain I like the slides as well my favourite slide was the one that was underground.

        I also liked the toboggan ride.

        What was your favourite slide?

        From Toby

    • Hi Toby

      My personal narrative is going great. I wrote about me dropping in the bowl. I have finished my bold beginning and I am on my mighty middle. I rate mine 10/10

      How about yours?

      From Rex

      • hi Rex

        I’ve finished and rate mine the same as yours.

        I’m writing about magic mountain.

        When was your first time.

        From Toby

    • Dear Toby,

      I chose about going to Mt Bula at the snow.
      I am also having lots of fun with my personal narrative

      My favourite part has been doing the mighty middle and I’m looking forward to doing some more.
      What are you looking forward to most with your personal narrative?

      From Flynn

    • Dear Toby,
      I choose Spoting Gnomes on the way to Mt Bulla. It is about looking for gnomes while driving up the mountain. I think my Bold Beginning is awesome!

      I am up to revising my personal narrative. So far I have added one or two power sentences and a few extra pieces of punctuation. Revising is reading over your finished piece of writing and adding parts to it.

      Last year I did narratives. We had writers workshop but we were not working super hard on small moments. I believe I have really improved on writing small topics.

      Was the rollar coaster scary?
      Where are you up to in your personal narrative?
      From your fellow classmate,
      Jema!

  3. To Rachel,

    How are you? What have you enjoyed in Writer’s Workshop this week?
    My favourite part of my personal narrative is my bold beginning!

    From Jarrah

    • Hi Jarrah,
      My favourite part of my narrative is my bold beginning to. I think it is very descriptive and hookes the reader in. I am not really good at mighty middles. I think I will practise them until I get better.

      I have enjoyed writing excellent endings this week. But I still cannot choose which one to use! They are all great and I don’t know what on to actually use!

      What was your favourite part of writers workshop this week?
      Are you going well with your personal narrative?
      From your classmate,
      Jema!

  4. My name is Richard and I am Emma’s Pa.
    Having just read these amazing pieces of writing, I congratulate both students and Miss Jordan in putting together this blog to share with the extended community of Barwon Heads Primary school the works of “Our budding novelists”.

  5. Hi Mr Roskosch,
    I love that you say we are talented but I think you’re the talented one, because you supplied great teachers that have taught us great things, like my own Miss Jordan.
    See you,
    Val.

  6. Hi 4B,

    I am having fun doing my personal narrative.
    Mine is about going on the space bowl slide at
    the Waurn Ponds Lesurlink.I think the others were
    amazing.

    From Dalton

  7. Hi class,

    I am having alot of fun doing the mighty middle in our personal narrative and the bold beginning. I am also looking forward to our excellent ending.

    From Jeremy.

    • H͙i͙ J͙e͙r͙e͙m͙y͙,

      I am also looking forward to my excellent ending and I also want to finish my mighty middle.

      I can’t wait to do more personal narratives because they are fun to do.

      F͙r͙o͙m͙ D͙a͙l͙t͙o͙n͙

  8. Hi 4B,

    I am really enjoying writers workshop because we do it in more steps than last year because last year we just wrote the draft just in one piece but this year we are breaking our writing into lots of pieces and putting more detail into it.

    I think my piece of work is improving really well and it is better quality than last year.

    From Rocker

    • Hi Rocker,

      I love writing too. It’s so good how we are taught how to get one moment in time and and describe that moment as much as we can. It is called ” show me don’t tell me”.

      Your class mate,

      Elliot

  9. Dear Miss Jordan,
    I have improved in my writing this year by using more descriptive language and not doing ‘dawn to dusk’ writing. I used to write from when I got up and when I went to bed but now my dear teacher, Miss Jordan, has taught me how to write short entries. Now my writing is easy to read and a text I should be proud about.

    My tip for writing a personal narrative is… the bold beginning must be interesting otherwise people will not want to read on. Make sure it is interesting, and hooks the reader so they want to keep reading.

    We are doing personal narratives in class and I am up to my excellent ending. My mighty middle and bold beginning are done and I am waiting for the next writing lesson to finish up. Personal narratives are very easy to do because they are about you. Personally, I like narratives better than personal narratives, but I am just fine with either.

    Sighning off,
    Jema!

    • Dear Jema,
      This blog is pretty cool isn’t it. I think it is perfect that we can get comments to other students and “who could forget the cluster map”?

      And now we have 13,694! If I started a blog I would be any where but that number in a year and a few months.

      I suggest the pastel portraits look amazing, they really brighten up the room and the names stuck to the glass door shine on there laminated surfaces.

      Even better we have our own garden with plants such as tomatoes, strawberrys, silver beet and herbs but my knowledge with herbs isn’t that great.
      The literacy wall has really helped me in my personal narrative and with writing vocabulary such as adjective, nouns, verbs, alliterations and so on.

      I can’t wait to go to the grade 4 camp at Anglsea, I heard about the leap of faith, OMG I can’t wait!

      What has been your highlight of this year so far?
      What do you like most about blogging?
      If you had a blog what would it be about?

  10. Hi 4B

    I’m looking forward to my mighty middle. My personal narrative is going great, I am on the mighty middle and I’m not bragging but I rate mine 10/10 .
    How are you going?

    From a classmate Rex

    • Hi Rex,
      I’m up to my mighty middle to and I rate mine 9.5/10 because I think there might be room for improvement. I’m writing mine about a candy shop in Sweden, what is yours about?
      Bye,
      Emma.

  11. Hi Jarrah,
    I am going great!
    How about you?
    My favourite part of writing a personal narrative is probably the bold beginning.
    Same as you!
    From Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,
      Are you enjoying writer notebook I now I am.
      It has been amazing!!!!!!

      Hope you have a good day.

      From Charlotte

  12. Hi 4B,
    I am having so much fun writing our bold beginnings and mighty middles. I can’t wait to start writing our excellent endings.

    My personal narrative is when my netball team won the grand final.

    What are you writing about?

    Charlotte

  13. Hi Charlotte,
    I have had soooooo much fun writing about a personal narrative and think everyone else is to.
    From Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,
      Nice to see you. I have been having a great time on the blog and in our class room with everyone.
      From,
      Ebony

  14. Dear Miss Jordan and 4B,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on our class blog.
    We have enjoyed looking at what you have been working on in Writer’s Workshop. We are also working on Personal Narratives. We have just finished our ‘Bold Beginnings’ and are now getting started on our ‘Mighty Middles’.

    Maybe we you could come and read us your Personal Narratives when they are finished. We would love to hear them 🙂

    See you around the school,
    1B

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