Writers Workshop

Inspired by the popular National Public Radio Series, This I Believe, Mike Flinchbaugh, Tar River Writing Project Teacher-consultant and Secondary Instructional Coach, models Writers Workshop and guides students in authoring and sharing audience-centered middle-grades manifestos.

Lesson Plan Write-Up

Lesson Resources

This I Believe

To help teachers guide students through exploring their beliefs and composing personal essays about them


An online version of sticky-notes used here to brainstorm and share emerging topic ideas

Circle Maps

Thinking Maps’ Circle Map is used for brainstorming ideas and for showing prior knowledge about a topic by providing context information.

Other Writers Workshop Resources

Writers Workshop Student Learning Contract & Reflection Tool

Fletcher, Ralph & Portalupi, JoAnn.  (2001).  Writers Workshop: The Essential Guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

In clear language, Fletcher and Portalupi explain the simple principles that underlie the writing workshop and explore the major components that make it work.

Kittle, Penny.  (2008). Write Beside Them. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

This book is about teaching writing and the gritty particulars of teaching adolescents. But it is also the planning, the thinking, the writing, the journey: all I’ve been putting into my teaching for the last two decades. This is the book I wanted when I was first given ninth graders and a list of novels to teach. This is a book of vision and hope and joy, but it is also a book of genre units and minilessons and actual conferences with students.

—Penny Kittle

Ray, Katie Wood & Laminack, Lester L. (2001). Writing Workshop, The: Working through the Hard Parts (And They’re All Hard Parts).  Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

For grades 3-8, this book provides both the theoretical underpinning for Writers Workshop as well as practical tips for implementing in the classroom.


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