Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Finding Seeds for a Story

Hello Everyone!  Today I am linking up with Jivey from Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.
I would like to share a lesson I use early on during Writing Workshop.  In the beginning of the year, we talk a lot about finding topics.  Now, we are really working on narrowing our focus to small moments.  There are many mentor texts to use for this, but here are three of my favorites.
Click here to read how I use this book.

(Just about any book by Patricicia Polacco works perfectly!)

After I read a mentor text, the discussion focuses on where the idea likely came from.  We discuss how the author wrote about a single event as opposed to a huge topic.  Next, we talk about how we can come up with our own small moments.

Here is an anchor chart I use to show students how I came up with three small moments I could write about.  I started off with a big idea and narrowed it down until I reached three small moments.

After our discussion, I give students three charts to fill out so they can discover their own small moments to write about.  Before students begin, we brainstorm a bunch of "Watermelon Ideas"(vacations, family, holidays, etc.) to pull from.  Here are the charts students use.

(You can get the printables for the anchor chart and the charts for students to use for free here.)

After students complete the charts, they cut them out and paste them into the ideas section of their writing notebook.

*To provide an added visual, students were given a small slice of watermelon to eat during this lesson. They loved this.  : )

I am excited to move on to our first big writing project.  Students will be taking a personal narrative all the way through the writing process. I will let you know how it goes.

I'm off to Ideas by Jivey to check out how everyone else is doing with their workshops.  Make sure you stop by and check it out.  

Thank you, and enjoy the rest of the week.


  1. I'm using Shortcut later this week for the same reason! Thanks for other book suggestions!

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  2. I added Shortcut to my Amazon cart because I've been meaning to get it for FOREVER! Thanks for the reminder! I use the watermelon/seed visual as well! It seems to help them understand how to narrow it down. Thanks for linking up! Loved your post!
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