Have I told you guys yet that I am moving schools? Well, if not, I am moving schools! I will still be in 5th grade but I am teaching in a school that is known as a Literacy Collaborative School that uses Fountas and Pinnell with fidelity. I met with my literacy coach today to map out the first few days of school. While I was pulling out my seed notebook, I decided it would be a great idea to share some writing workshop ideas with you.
This one is an old take on making lists that I picked up from a workshop last summer (see the date, yikes! Time is flying.)
After we finished our heart and shared with partners a few of the things we had written, I modeled how to choose one person from their heart. I chose one of my sons. This was one part that I did not have done ahead of time. I wanted them to see me walk through the process and know what my thinking was. I drew a line on the bottom of my heart and placed five spots on the line. Then I modeled aloud how it was impossible for me to write a story about Brody without narrowing down the topic. So I thought of five small moments with Brody that I could write about. I put them on my line.
Next, I modeled how I wanted to choose just one of those small moments to turn begin writing about. I chose the “Fist Meeting” as my small moment. Then it was the students’ turn. They chose a person from their heart and turned and talked to a partner about some small moments with that person that they could turn into stories. After turning and talking, they drew their line wrote out their small moments on the line.
Depending on time, you could have the students choose one and begin writing that day or that could be saved for another day. Either way, you have modeled several things in this one lesson:
- How to generate topics and then narrow them down
- How to choose a small moment that you want to write about
Now the students will have several big ideas for the future and the knowledge of how to take those big ideas and flesh them out into small moments which turns into even more writing ideas. No more, what do I write about? The have several ideas now in their notebook that are important and meaningful to them.
What is your favorite lesson for generating ideas for students’ seed notebooks?