fiction · literary essay · memoir · units of study

What’s Next?

I received a question earlier this evening about what’s next in my Writing Workshop:

What do you usually do next in writing workshop? I just finished persuasive writing, and this is the first time I have done it so early in the year. I am trying to figure out the next logical step. I feel like it’s too early for memoir, and I don’t want to do poetry yet!

Here’s what’s next this year: My colleagues and I are going to be doing a mini-unit of study on notebook work with our students when they return to school in January. (Part of this mini-unit will focus on writing more reflective, thoughtful entries, while part of it will focus on revising former notebook entries collected between September and December.) Afterwards, we’re diving into Memoir. To us, it seemed like a natural place to go after the kids will have spent a few weeks writing about meaningful things in their notebooks. Hopefully one or more of their notebook pieces will turn into a seed idea for their memoir. After all, doesn’t it always seem that life topics for memoir come from the kids’ notebooks?

Here’s what’s been next (after persuasive letters) in past years: Literary Essay (seems logical to me since the kids spent the past two months writing in non-narrative genres) or Short Fiction (a complete departure from non-narrative work, which many kids welcome).

What unit of study will you be teaching when you return to school in January? Weigh-in by taking the poll below or, if you have more to say, then please leave a comment.

4 thoughts on “What’s Next?

  1. The state requires that fifth grade cover three types of writing before March: narrative, persuasive, and expository. So next on my list is expository. There will be several trial assessments in the next 8 weeks to prepare my students for their two hour test.


  2. I am on to instructional writing. This is a genre that regulary shows up on our standardized provincial tests, so I want to cover it for sure. Also, we just spent a bunch of time on narratives, so this will help us make the transition to non-fiction writing. The “How To” unit will be followed by a descriptive report.


  3. Stacey-

    Thanks so much! Your yearly plan resembles mine very closely. I’ve been looking at notebook entries over the past 2 weeks or so, just getting back to basics with our writer’s notebooks (especially after so much time on persuasive letters). And we just did literary essay/letter- essays in reading workshop. I am just stuck between memoir and short story next. I am really leaning towards memoir because we will be reading THE GIVER in reading workshop and I feel like it’s a natural connection.

    Thanks again!



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