Writer’s Workshop seems to be integrated into many of today’s classrooms during literacy periods. In Kindergarten, we start our mornings off with Writer’s Workshop, each and every day. We are using the Lucy Culkins’ Writer’s Rainbow model to help our young writers. We know, and believe, that all students are writers.
Throughout the year, we will be using Lucy Culkins’s books to help teach our young students about different types of writing, and allowing them the opportunity to write as well. First, we have started off with Non-Fiction Writing, and have been focusing on “small moments”, where students are to write about something that happened to them yesterday, last night, or even this morning. The writers in our room vary from those whom only draw pictures, to those who add much detail in both their pictures and their words.
We are now moving toward Fiction writing, where my students are now authors and are creating their own Gingerbread stories. Because we have been completing a unit on the Gingerbread Man (and how he ran away from our oven here at school), students created their own versions of the Gingerbread Man. Some students chose to write about a Gingerbread Princess, A Gingerbread Alien and even a Gingerbread Superman. The pictures and details they have come up with are just fantastic!
In all of our Kindergarten classrooms, we have Lucy Culkins’s Writer’s Rainbow posted (see picture). Each different colour of the rainbow shows a different stage at which students are at with their writing. It is a great way not only for us as teachers to see where our students fit in, but also for students to self-assess their work.
If you have not heard of or read about Lucy Culkins’s work, you should. She gives simple and practical ways to set up and use Writer’s Workshop in your classroom! Happy Writing!