DOE Summer Workshop 2014

Buddy Books in the Writer’s Workshop:
Teaching The Good Traits of Writing Through
Children’s Literature
Presented by Patty Poltzer
The beautiful part of writing
is that you don’t have
to get it right the first time,
unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
You can always do it better,
find the exact word,
the apt phrase,
the leaping simile.
-Robert Cormier
The Writer’s Workshop Model
Schedule 3-5 days per week
Whole Group
(Mini lesson – Direct Instruction)
10-30 minutes
Individual Writing Time
(Status of the Class - Conferencing)
20-45 minutes
Whole Group
Authors Chair
Share writing
5-15 minutes
Whole Group Mini-lesson (10-30 minutes)
Short & focused
Writing process
Scope & Sequence
Qualities of good
writing (traits)
Teach more than one
strategy at a time
Buddy Books
Don’t reinvent the wheel
May not necessarily
direct the course of the
writing component
Read student cues and
clues – what do they
Writing Time (35-45 minutes)
Begin with status of the class
The meat of the workshop
Ongoing projects
Purpose for writing
◦ Often self-selected
◦ Sometimes assigned
◦ Opinion/Argument
◦ Informative/Explanatory
◦ Narrative
Teacher floats discreetly
Brief student conferences
Anecdotal notes
Teacher commentary
◦ Post-Its
◦ No red pen
◦ At least one positive
Back to Whole Group (10-15 minutes)
Sharing time
Author’s chair
Partner share
Question & Answer
Student creates
schedule for next
writing workshop
◦ Jots down questions
for teacher
(conference time)
◦ Ticket out the door
◦ Mini-lesson review
◦ Thoughts to ponder at
Organizing Writing
Mini Lesson notes
Text Features
Information students can
access during individual
writing time
◦ Differentiate: copies for
students to glue into
their journals
Writing Folder
◦ Two-pocket folder (see
◦ Students keep track of
their individual ongoing
◦ Hand-outs and
◦ Published work
Good Traits of Writing
The content, or main
The reason for your
The heart of the
Gives the writing
Moves the reader
through in a
purposeful way
The internal structure
of the writing
Good Traits of Writing
 The personal voice
of the author comes
through – YOU
 Gives the writing
personality, flair, style
– a sound all its own
Word Choice
 The use of precise,
colorful, and rich
words to
communicate your
 The use of words to
help you say exactly
what you want - not
come close - nail it!
The Good Traits of Writing
Sentence Fluency
The writing flows with
a rhythm and cadence
Varied sentence length
and style
Purposeful sentence
Linking words and
phrases (transitions)
The rules of language;
◦ Spelling
◦ Punctuation
◦ Grammar/usage
◦ Paragraphing
◦ Capitalization
Writing Process
Good Writing Traits
Word Choice
Sentence Fluency
(Language Standards)
How do the good traits of
writing fit into the writing
Enough with theory…
Show me what to do!
Establish the standard/s
and/or trait you will include in
your lessons:
◦ ELACC3W3, 4W3, 5W3 Write narratives to
develop real or imagined
◦ Ideas/Word Choice
◦ Character development
(real or imagined)
◦ Dialogue and descriptions
to show response of
characters to situations
◦ Illustrations
I Need My Monster
by Amanda Noll
Character Development
Our Monsters
Getting Started
Choose any piece of writing (picture book, chapter book,
newspaper, article, greeting cards, junk mail…) upon which to
build your lesson
 Design a short writing activity that emphasizes the standard,
skills and/or trait that you are teaching (The web is an
amazing wealth of lesson ideas)
 Examples:
◦ Transitions for organization
◦ Details for ideas
◦ Verbs/adjectives for word choice
 Model the writing activity with the class (It’s not copying!)
Sources and Resources
Writing Workshop The essential guide
By Ralph Fletcher
Craft Lessons Teaching writing K-8
By Ralph Fletcher & Joann Portalupi
Mechanically Inclined Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop
By Jeff Anderson
After the End Teaching and Learning Creative Revision
By Barry Lane
Going Bohemian Activities That Engage Adolescents in the Art of Writing Well
By Lawrence Baines & Anthony J. Kunkel
Making Revision Matter Strategies for Guiding Students to Focus, Organize, and Strengthen Their
Writing Independently
By Janet Angelillo (Northwest Region Professional Development Program)
The Common Core Guidebook: Informational Text Lesson Grades 3-5
By Rozlyn Linder
Sources and Resources
Everyday Editing; Inviting Students to Develop Skill and Craft in Writer’s Workshop
By Jeff Anderson
Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits
By Ruth Culham
Northern Nevada Writing Project’s Writing Across the Curriculum Guide (2006 Edition) Available
North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL)
Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature
By Lester L. Laminack and Reba M. Wadsworth
Awakening the Heart ~ Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School
By Georgia Heard (FKA Northwest Regional Education Laboratory) (International Reading Association) Teaching That Makes Sense

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