Each day we spend time doing Writing Workshop. Audrey will come to expect this as part of our day, just as she does lunch time. During this time, Audrey will be "making" books. At this point, the books she is most familiar with are picture books. So this is probably what she will be making most of the time. She will come up with her own ideas and get them down on her pages. She will illustrate her books too.
We begin each Writing Workshop time with a short mini-lesson to teach a new strategy, skill, or something new she can try out in her own writing. Most of these lessons will use published books as models of what we can try in our own writing. Then Audrey has time to "make" her books. She can continue working on a book she has already started, or she can start a new book. After that, we celebrate all the smart things she is doing in her writing.
Our first unit of study is "The Kinds of Things Writers Make and How We Will Make Them". We have spent time looking at books made by students from the first grade classes I taught years ago. This really helped Audrey to see that she can make books just like those. We also looked at published books. We noticed they usually have a cover with a title, illustration, and the author's name. We noticed that the pages in these books usually have words and pictures on them. We learned about all the supplies we can use to make our books too. Basically, all you need is paper with space to write and illustrate, (I chose paper with the Handwriting Without Tears lines to help with letter formation), a pencil (also Handwriting Without Tears), and some crayons, markers, and colored pencils. We staple our pages into books.
On the first day of Writing Workshop, Audrey immediately knew what she wanted her first book to be about. She decided on the title, How Rainbows Come and Go. She wrote her title, her name, and illustrated the cover. She was very concerned about spelling her words perfectly. I was a little concerned at this time that she would continue to need to spell every word perfectly.
1. A writer needs an idea to write about.
2. A writer can write about something they are very interested in and love.
3. A book has a cover with title, author's name, and illustration.
4. A writer organizes their book in a certain way and can plan it out, think about what will be next.
5. The illustrations should match up with the words.
6. We need spaces between our words so others can read it more easily.
7. We put a period at the end of our sentences.
8. It is important to "give words a try" so you can focus on your meaning.