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Why a writing workshop framework works for young authors

Our goal is to develop independence in young authors

writing-workshop-authorsWe all have stories to tell. Regardless if our stories are told orally, through body language, or written composition, students need to feel ownership and validation in their work.

As a member of the National Writing Project and a national literacy consultant, it is my goal to share the importance of choice in student writing.

Writing workshop is a model that encourages students to self-select topics of interest while developing young writers as independent authors who write for an authentic purpose and audience.

As young authors, students (as young as pre-kindergarten) should be given the creative freedom to write about the stories they’re passionate about telling. It is our responsibility as educators to cultivate that passion through actively becoming interested in their stories and building relationships with our students so that we know precisely how to suggest key revision strategies to support each individual writer.

I often tell parents and fellow educators that it is not about the medium used to tell the story but rather the message being told. Stating this is important because I’m often asked about students with learning differences.  With the accessibility of assistive technology, students are now able to share their stories in a variety of mediums.

(Next page: Do you teach the writer or the writing?)

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