ideas for the future · small group · topics

Conquering the Blank Page with Borrowed Lines

Borrowed lines from nonthreatening text is one way we can demystify writing for students and help them see the page, not as an empty vast space, but as an opportunity to produce beautiful writing. 

idea notebooks · notebooks · seed ideas · story ideas · storytelling · topics · writer's notebook

Inspire Your Young Writers With A Wide Inclusive Range of Topics and Stories

One thing we can do to support all writers, is to be intentional in the topics and story ideas we use as models and mentors. Modeling a wide range of stories and ideas can help each of your writers be inspired.

choice · independence · independent writing · topics · writing workshop

Never Write About the Same Topic as Your Students–Except Sometimes

The cornerstone of writing workshop is that students get to choose their own topics rather than be assigned a topic by the teacher.

mentor texts · picture book · science · topics · writer's notebook

10 Math & Science Topic Choice Mentors + 10 Book Giveaways

Do you have students who are interested in math and science, but claim they hate writing or don't know what to write about in their writer’s notebooks? Here are 10 newer picture books to inspire them to write about their passion.

engagement · ralph fletcher · topics · writing workshop

Supporting Boy Writers: An Interview with Ralph Fletcher

Have you ever banned a topic from your writing workshop? If you have, you’re not alone…but you may want to think twice about that policy.

giveaway · mentor texts · picture book · topics · wordless books · writer's notebook

10 Topic Choice Mentor Texts

Do you have students who claim they don't know what to write about in their writer's notebooks? Here are 10 new picture books to inspire them to write.

choice · conferring · minilesson · topics

Topic Choice

So often, we run into students who say, "I don't know what to write about." We work to help them develop topics. We make lists of writing ideas. We encourage them to explore writing territories. They find possible stories. What I've been realizing lately is often my topic choice has more to do with what… Continue reading Topic Choice

topics · writing workshop

Looking for Something?

If you're looking for information about a specific topic or a post you've seen in the past, you may want to use the search box in the top right corner, just under our header. Also, if you're interested in the kinds of topics we're currently writing about, you may want to check posts from this… Continue reading Looking for Something?

former students · topics · Write: It's good for you! · writing · writing workshop

The Truth is what matters when we write. (The “T” is capitalized for a reason.)

Ruth and I have were recently talking about the truth in our writing. We both recognized that honesty matters when we write. Writing is empty and vacant without the expression of honest emotions, isn't it? Yesterday, when I met up with my former student, Elaine, and her family we talked about having writing territories and… Continue reading The Truth is what matters when we write. (The “T” is capitalized for a reason.)

Davis and Hill · strategies · student work · topics · writer's notebook

They can never say that they don’t know what to write about anymore!

Sample List Originally uploaded by teachergal Encourage your students to keep a list of things they can write about in their writer's notebooks (an idea I took from The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing by Judy Davis and Sharon E. Hill). Here's a page out of a former student's notebook. You can see the specificity… Continue reading They can never say that they don’t know what to write about anymore!