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.

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 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?