his post has some mini lessons for writing workshop about finding ideas of things to write about! I have been working really hard this year to try to do my mini-lessons in a sequence that makes sense. It makes sense to me at least! Of course, I started with building stamina for Writer’s Workshop. If you are interested in seeing our daily routine check out the post HERE. Now that we are into the routine, we get down to the nitty-gritty! T
Mini Lessons for Writing Workshop: Brainstorming Ideas!
We decided as a class that having a good Idea is important to help us meet our goal of “My audience wants to read what I write”. (Our two goals for writing for the year are inspired by a blog post that I read by Lisa Mattes from Growing Firsties. You can find that post HERE!)
So, once we have our Writer’s Workshop Routine in place, we start working on Ideas.
Where do ideas come from?
What kinds of things do writers write about?
Then, we work on making some lists. We create writing Ideas anchor charts that hang in our classroom! I first have the students use this page to do their own brainstorming.
Then, we share our ideas with a partner (adding to our own list if need be), then we share as a class! Our first Writing Ideas list is all about things that we like. This list usually is where you get “Video Games”, “Ice Cream”, “My Family”. We talk about what kinds of things make good topics for writing. We write one idea in each heart.
But, we also talk about how sometimes great stories come from those things that we don’t like. So, we also make a list of ideas of things to write about that we don’t like. This is usually a lot of fun. It is generally good for some grossness and some giggles. We right one thing we don’t like in each “Stop Sign”. We also make an anchor chart for our “Don’t Like” ideas. This list usually includes things like “bugs”, “rainy days”, “throw up”.
I copy these pages back to back, then they go in our writing notebooks.
Of course, then we share with our partners what we are thinking about writing about during writing time and go off to write. We usually have a lot of good ideas after this lesson!
Mini Lesson for Writing Workshop: Magazine Ideas!
Another fun mini-lesson to help your students to spark their ideas for writing is to use magazines! I always ask for “appropriate” magazine donations at the beginning of the school year. I put a big pile of them in the middle of our meeting space and let the kiddos choose one. They go back to their seats and find a few pictures from their magazine of things that they could potentially write about! We come back together as a class and we share with our partners what we found! We glue our pictures to make a class writing collage! We hang it up in our writing center and look at it if we need more inspiration!
I put a few of the magazines in my writing center as well. Then, if the kiddos are stuck, they can look through a magazine, cut out a picture and write about it during Writing Workshop!
Mini Lessons for Writing Workshop: If all else fails…
If these mini lessons for writing workshop fail to help your students come up with their own ideas for writing, there are always Writing Prompts! My student writers LOVE Writing Prompts with Pictures! I use these picture writing prompts during our writing workshop, for fast-finishers, in my writing center, and for writing lessons for substitute teachers!
I always show the students the routine first. I hand out the prompt and we talk about what parts a story needs, then we identify all of the pictures at the top of the page. The students take a minute to talk with a partner about the prompt, then we brainstorm a list of words that they may want to use in their writing. We put these on the whiteboard! They tell their partner what their plan is for the prompt, then they go write! Interested? You can try these out for free:
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon, until the, Teach happy!