First Writers Workshop Free Write
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My students’ first free-write as members of our Writers’ Workshop was in response to one of 13 quotes from famous children’s books. The quotes were collected online by the social media and technology website Mashable under the title “13 Quotes from Children’s Books Every Adult Should Know.”
Students were told to choose a quote that spoke to them and respond to it. Students chose quotes because they came from a favorite book (“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”), from a favorite author (Shel Silverstein), or because it elicited a specific memory or struck a philosophical or universal chord with them.
After 5 minutes, quite a robust time given this was their first attempt at free-writing in my class, students were given the opportunity to share their writing.
This activity accomplished a number of goals. First, it introduced the concept of and rules for free-writing. Second, it laid the groundwork for the community of writers I hope to build every year in my classroom. Third, it reinforced the validity and importance of children’s literature, particularly picture books, as a scholarly and literary medium.
The link to the Mashable article can be here: