Before you get started on your journey of making books in writing workshop, there are a few things you need to know about the practice. First, and most importantly, the work part of writing workshop is making books. If you ask children what they do in writing workshop, they'll say, "We make books." To help you imagine what that means, here's a short list of just some of the many ways making books is beneficial to beginning writers.
- is developmentally appropriate. Young children love to make things and they bring an easy sense of play to making.
- encourages children to do bigger work and develop stamina for writing.
- causes children to live like writers when they're away from their desks as they think about their books in progress.
- makes the "reading like writers" connection so clear.
- helps children begin to understand the process of composition and decision-making.
- helps children begins to understand genre, purpose, and audience.
What children need to get started making books is very simple. They need time, space, blank books, writing tools, and an image of bookmaking.
Lisa Cleaveland starts her writing workshop each day at 9:00 am sharp. She has been a teacher for twenty seven years and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She was the recipient of the prestigious NCTE/Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing. Lisa's classroom was the research basis for About the Authors, coauthored by Katie Wood Ray. Today, teachers from all over the United States visit Lisa's writing workshop in North Carolina to watch a master practitioner at work.
You can find her on Twitter at @LisaCleaveland
For many years as the author of bestselling Heinemann books such as About the Authors, Study Driven, Already Ready, and In Pictures and In Words, and as a member of Heinemann’s Professional Development Services, Katie Wood Ray gave teachers resources and PD that transformed writing instruction and helped children discover a lifelong love of writing.
In 2014, Katie “moved to the other side of the desk” and joined the dynamic team of editors at Heinemann where she works closely with authors to craft powerful professional books on a range of literacy topics. Katie is also the series editor for the new Classroom Essentials books from Heinemann.
You can find her on Twitter at @KatieWoodRay