Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop:

The goal of Writing Workshop is to create independent writers, with authentic experiences in both reading and writing. This method of instruction focuses on the goal of fostering life-long writers. It is based upon four principles: learners will write about their own lives, they will use a consistent writing process, they will work in authentic ways, and they will develop independence as writers.  The basic philosophy behind Writing Workshop is that learners write every day for real purposes about things that interest them. Learners learn the craft of writing through practice, conferring and studying mentor texts with the ultimate goal of developing life-long writers.


The Writing Workshop has a structured order of events that occur daily within a block of time. The structure of Writing Workshop follows a predictable pattern and set format which builds structure, expectation, and opportunity for learners to write. The model always starts with a mini-lesson in which the teacher explicitly teaches one skill, strategy, or quality of writing.  Once introduced, the teaching point becomes an option for learners to use in their writing.  As learners move from whole class to independent writing, the teacher confers with learners individually or in small groups about their writing. Through additional mini-lessons and conferences, the teacher is able to attend to individual needs, set goals for learners, and reinforces previous lessons. At some point during independent writing, the teacher may choose to address an observation or remind learners of prior lessons with a mid-workshop interruption which provides a mental break and refocus on writing objectives. The workshop often concludes with the whole class reconvening for a brief share. The teacher may identify a learner whose work has effectively utilized a strategy or teaching point.


The Philosophy and Principles of Writing Workshop:

  • Encourages independence

  • Gives the writer a high degree of choice within a framework

  • Has procedures that are consistent for both materials and movement

  • Structures the environment to encourage writers to take risks and learn their craft

  • Provides a scaffolding support system to all writers

  • Gives learners frequent responses to their writing

  • Has a regular and predictable time to write and amount of time

  • Gives learners direct instruction in writing by different methods; whole class, small group, individual

  • Uses literature to teach learners the craft of writing