A Scavenger Hunt

Last week I talked with a group of intermediate teachers about writers’ notebooks. We discussed the importance of writers’ notebooks to the life of a writer, as well as how to get them going in classrooms. The teachers returned to their classrooms and launched writers’ notebooks. Yesterday, a week later, we came back together for the second day of the training.

As you know, one of my favorite parts of my job is how I get to hear so many great ideas. A couple of summers ago, Stacey wrote a post about ideas for introducing the writer’s notebook. Here’s another clever way to introduce writer’s notebooks. Sam Tipton, fourth grade teacher at Manchester Elementary School, set up a scavenger hunt for his writers. They followed the clues throughout the school, using reading strategies like inferring and predicting. The final stop of the scavenger hunt brought them to their treasure. On their desks, they found a writer’s notebook waiting to be filled with bits of their lives.

I like the idea of making the writer’s notebook a treasure at the end of a scavenger hunt. If you think about it, that’s really what it is…a place to collect the treasures we find as we move through life. I think it’s cool the way Sam connected the reading strategies to the scavenger hunt, and then the way reading ran into writing. To top it off, Sam and the other teachers in his grade level worked together so all of their students found their writer’s notebook this way.

If you have another idea for a special introduction of the writer’s notebook please share it with us in the comments.

Just a Note: This week I have way more things I want to blog about than I have days to blog, so I’m posting some of these things on my writing blog, Ruth Ayres Writes. Feel free to hop over there to see more about the cool things happening with young writers in classrooms. Today I posted “Conversation Between Writers” and shared a chart from a minilesson I taught in second grade about the way a writing conference goes.