Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Writing Workshop Wednesday - Week 2

My brain is overflowing with ideas that I want to share with my teachers after attending the Summer Writing Institute at Teacher's College two weeks ago.  I will be posting about the things I learned a few times each month on Wednesdays for a while.  If you missed the first post, you can find it here.

One of the things I learned is that writers need more opportunities to practice storytelling. If they can think can it, then they should say it, before they write it. We need to teach our writers that it is part of the planning process.   

Young writers benefit from the strategy of telling their story across their fingers.  This helps them define the beginning, the middle and the end of the story before their words hit the paper.  

I have been working on creating small versions of the anchor charts I use with students, since my job requires me to be in several buildings each week.  The chart below is one example that will help me prompt students for storytelling.  All of them will be included in one product that I'm hoping to finish to add to my Tpt store soon.  

Another strategy in the planning process is to sketch the story.  The sketches of the story can be used as a tool to help a child verbally tell their story to a partner before they begin to write the words.

Storytelling is a strategy that helps our writers form narrative stories in their mind and clarify the details for their audience.  During my week at the Summer Writing Institute, many teachers asked if it was necessary to start with narrative units for writing. The experts at Teacher's College agreed that you should start with narrative writing.

Here are a few of the reasons to start with narrative writing...
1.  It values student experiences.
2.  It helps build a community of writers because stories are personal.
3. The ability to retell a story in a sequence is a foundational literacy skill.
4.  Narrative writing is a building block for other types of writing.

Happy writing!


  1. I love how telling your story across your hand to pre-write directly matches retelling a fiction story. I love when they put the two together and all of a sudden it makes complete sense....

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  2. This is awesome! We do Lucy Caulkins in our district and one of my goals this weekend was to make at least one anchor chart - and I am going to do this one! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Diana,
      How did the anchor chart turn out? Thanks for reading my blog!

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  8. Across the fingers definitely is a good way to learn and remember the step because of the count.
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