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If you have been reading my site for awhile, you might have noticed that my kids love any lesson involving food. They learned the animal cell organelles with cake and read poetry with tea. My kids seem to be more motivated when there is food involved. This gave me the idea for beginning Writer’s Workshops.
Writer’s Workshop is a time dedicated to enjoying writing. We go to a local coffee shop or cafe where we get a hot drink and something to eat. This is an awesome opportunity to support a local business!
Writer’s workshop follows the same pattern pretty much every time, with just a few small tweaks.
After we order something to drink and eat, we find a table with a little room to spread out and get to work.
First, we start with a story starter activity to get the creative juices flowing.
This step doesn’t require any writing because we use the story starters orally. There are lots of options for story starters – story stones, story cards, or story dice. I like to rotate through our options to keep the stories fresh.
We take turns making up a story with the story starter. We usually go around the table several times and the stories get more descriptive each time.
Next, I read a story while the kids sip their cocoa and eat their treat.
Usually this is a picture book related to the writing process. A lot of kids seem to think that authors write perfect stories on the very first try and are frustrated when they need to revise and edit. Reading stories about the process can help curb that desire to not write until you think it will be perfect.
We have read many of the books on This Reading Mama’s list.
Now we begin writing.
We spend about 10-15 minutes working on a collaborative story. I usually start the story by writing one sentence. I pass the paper and pencil around the table and everyone adds on a sentence. This goes around the table several times until we are out of ideas or the story reaches a natural conclusion. The story is usually ridiculously silly and everyone wants to bring it home to show daddy.
Next, we write independently for a few minutes.
This is a chance to work on a story that has been in the works for a while or begin something new. I do not place any restrictions on this writing time. They may write the story they want to tell.
Once we are finished writing, we clean up our table and head home. The whole thing takes us about an hour usually. Thankfully, we live in a town where many of the coffee shops are happy to let us occupy a table for so long. Writer’s workshop is a great way to renew or foster a love of writing.
Where would you go to write?
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