One early lesson in writer’s workshop will include the topic of why we’ll do lots of writing during the year. It’s important to me to start with a list developed with the class to keep in front of me, to aid me in crafting lessons that touch the ideas along with all the writing parts inherent in the path to finished pieces. The list particularly fits a middle school level of understanding, but the same things could be re-worded to fit younger students more appropriately.
Here are some of the reasons I believe will give students a base from which to jump into writing. In my first meetings with students, the list will aid a discussion where we’ll add to the list, share brief examples that illustrate each point, and begin with an exercise from one idea. Other school’s expectations may be different from mine, so it doesn’t matter where one starts with writing, just that students will know that they will be writing, and in doing so, will discover so much about themselves.
Reasons to write:
Reflecting to figure out how one feels about something that one reads or observes
Responding to something with one of the senses
Messing about with explaining one’s opinion-becoming clearer about it
Discovering and capturing parts of one’s past
Communicating learning about a topic
Capturing the essence of some personal experience
Capturing the imagined—story, character, setting, etc.