Writer’s Workshop Model of Instruction

Writer’s Workshop is a framework for writing instruction that aligns with Common Core State Standards.  The Workshop model includes a predictable pattern of:

  • Mini-lesson
  • Independent writing
  • Conferencing
  • Sharing

During the mini-lesson, the teacher models a specific writing strategy or technique.  These short lessons are teacher-led, and typically utilize a “mentor text”, or piece of exemplary writing.  The exemplary writing may be from a book, article, teacher-written, or student-written.  It is carefully selected to illustrate the strategy or technique which is the lesson for the day.  A mini-lesson takes less than 20 minutes (often 10-15).

Students are then given time to write independently, to practice this strategy or technique to enhance their own writing.  The students may be reviewing a piece they have already written to identify that technique in their own writing, or be asked to work that technique into an existing piece.  Sometimes the students will be starting a new piece.

While students are writing independently, the teacher engages in writing conferences with individuals or small groups. This allows the teacher to differentiate for students, either reteaching skills or introducing something new that a student may be ready for.

Finally, students are given the opportunity to share their writing in a variety of ways. This time reinforces the idea that we write for an audience and our writing needs to clearly communicate our ideas.


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