A couple of weeks ago, I started writing a series about how and why we started our own Homeschool Writing Workshop. This is the fourth post in the series. Since it’s been a while, let me link to the first few posts in the series
Creating a Writing Workshop Post #3: This post is about Mini-Lessons during writing time, mentor texts and includes reviews of 8 or 9 writing books that you might find helpful.
As I started on this journey, I realized there were certain materials I needed right at my fingertips. It was wonderful to have read all the books and looked through tons of resources, but I needed to be able to reference the information that resonated with me immediately. I started creating a Writing Worksheet Resource Pack. I kept adjusting and modifying the pack (and still do!) but I thought it was about time to share it with anyone else who might find it useful.
Let me explain what is in the resource pack, so you have a clearer picture of the kinds of things we have covered in our writing workshop this fall. These pages are not necessarily in this order, but you’ll find them all in the writing workshop pack I made.
The kids brainstormed some of the different types of literature and writing genres they were familiar with. We went over this long list (and actually, they thought of a few that I had to add to the pack!):
I’ve gone over the six writing traits in general (I talked about this in the very first post in this series)… and then gone into specifics as well. I’ve referred to this chart a couple times a weeks since we started:
In the third post in this series, I talked about the mini-lessons we’ve done after we read a book together. I have a page of some of the mini-lessons I hope to cover in the next couple of semesters:
I have a number pages that go over some of those lessons. For example, we’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about how the opening of a story should really capture the reader’s attention. We’ve also talked about making sure to write about a manageable topic:
And we talked about characters, the plot and setting:
And we talked about knowing where your story is going, creating tension, coming to the climax of the story and bringing the story to an end.
And more mini lessons — on using descriptive words and strong verbs, creating strong visual images and more:
We’ve also talked about non-fiction writing a number of times this semester. I also wrote some resource pages about non-fiction writing:
Much of the time, the kids decide for themselves what they want to write. DD spent several weeks writing a story about a phoenix (which wound up being 30 pages long!). LD is more likely to write about one topic each day. At times, though, he can’t think of how to get started. There are a couple pages of ideas of what he can do if he gets stuck. This is a laminated sheet that he can grab and quietly look over if nothing comes to mind and he can’t think of what to write:
I’m sure that I’ll be adding to my resource pack as I go, but there’s enough here that it might be useful to some of you!
Download the Writing Workshop Resource Pack
If find this useful or if you create your own writing workshop, I’d love to hear from you over on my Homeschool Den Facebook Page!
Do you want to learn more about starting your own Homeschool Writing Workshop? Here are some related posts:
- Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #1 — How/Why we needed a change in our writing program
- Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #2: Creating a Writing Workshop Area and Materials to Have on Hand
- Creating a Writing Workshop Post #3: This post is about Mini-Lessons during writing time, mentor texts and includes reviews of 8 or 9 writing books that you might find helpful.
- Writing Resource Pack: This is a post about the 30-page pack I made for our writing workshop. Reference pages on the 6 +1 Wri ting Traits, Mini-Lessons, the types of writing, creating a powerful beginning, techniques for ending a story/paper, and so forth. (These writing resources are free to download.)
- Writing Workshop: Dr. Seuss Style: The kids and I had fun writing in the style of Dr. Seuss!
- Biography Research Paper Resource Pack
- Practical Pointers for Working with a Reluctant Writer (or any Writer)
- Writing Activity to Spark Kids’ Imagination!
- 40 Journal Writing Prompts (Free Printable)
- Animal Portfolio Project: writing, art and geography activities that go with any animals… With many activities to choose from. Writing activities include both fiction and non-fiction suggestions such as
- Write a speech or a letter to the president on why your animal needs protection in the wild.
- Menu: Create a humorous menu at a restaurant where your animals would like to eat.
- WWII Portfolio Project
- Writing Workshop Rules! Why the Writing Workshop continues to work so well in our homeschool.
Mini-Lessons to Use in a Writing Workshop (in any order):
- Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson: Rules for Writing and the Story Writing Process — Have your kids read the Plot Chicken? We started our Writing Workshop this year off with this book. What a great buk, buk!! In fact, I liked it so much that I created a chicken writing rules printable to go along with the book!
- What makes a good book or story?
- Make your story come alive with details and description.
- Creating Interesting Characters
- Story Openings: Set the mood or feeling of your story
- Gathering story ideas from your own life
- Alliteration and more
- Adding Details Exercise Don’t miss this one, the kids LOVED this activity!!
- Writing Workshop: Conflict in Literature (Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, etc)
- Writing Workshop Discussion Questions
- Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson: Rules for Writing and the Story Writing Process
- Writing Scary Stories
- Writing: Literacy Depth and Complexity Icons and More