Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Starting the Writing Workshop-Intermediate Grades August 18, 2008

Filed under: Calkins,school,units of study,writing — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:07 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This is a Unit Plan I helped create to facilitate the use of Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study program that many teachers found too overwhelming. (Sorry Lucy, I think you are fabulous!)


Focus for the Week

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Week 1

Focus Lesson A: Coming to the Meeting Area    



Focus Lesson B: Listening and Responding to Each Other    



Focus Lesson C: Generating Ideas About a Person-select one person from list and brainstorm small moments with that person.Group Share-people and small moments Group Shares ~5 minutes (not everyone every day)  


Focus Lesson D: Seed Story lesson (Calkins Units of Study p. 27) Watermelon vs. Seed graphic
Group Share-seed stories   
Focus Lesson E1:
Teach building stories step-by-step (Calkins Units of Study p. 56) as a pre-write for narrative
templateFocus Lesson E2: Personalizing Our Writers’ Notebooks
(becomes homework)

Group Share- stories 

Week 2

*Procedural Mini-Lesson: Setting Up Pages in Notebooks  

Focus Lesson F: The Importance of Keeping a Writer’s Notebook

Group Share-writer’s notebook covers


*Procedural Mini-Lesson: Settling Down to a Quiet Work Period, Routines Regarding No Interruptions, etc.  

Focus Lesson G: Including True and Exact Details (teacher uses own personal story or mentor text for grade level)

Group Share- favorite new detail


*Procedural Mini-Lesson: Continue Focus on Necessary Routines to Sustain Workshop

Focus Lesson H1: Use template to write story

Assessment #1-assess story for seed idea, details, and sequencing (rubric to follow)

Group Share- stories 




*Procedural Mini-Lesson: Responding Meaningfully to Your Partner (asking focused questions, etc.)  


Focus Lesson I: Qualities of Leads taught with mentor texts

Group Share- stories

Homework-leads worksheet  

*Procedural Mini-Lesson: Continue Focus on Necessary Routines to Sustain WorkshopFocus Lesson J: Writing leads-students write three different leads for their story. Group Share-favorite leads  

Assessment #2-completition of writing leads

Group Share- favorite lead 


Week 3

*Procedural Lessons as needed for individual classroom.Focus Lesson K: Using quotations (mid-workshop teaching point p.    




Focus Lesson L: Qualities of Endings taught with mentor texts (Calkins p. 93) Group Share-   

Homework-endings worksheet



Focus Lesson M: Writing endings-students write three different leads for their story.Group Share-favorite ending Homework-  


Lesson N: Conventions mini-lesson as neededGroup Share-favorite ending Homework-as needed if progress is not far enough  


Focus Lesson O: Publish story with revised lead and ending.Group Share-favorite ending Homework-as needed   


Week 4

Publishing Party Assessment #3-assess final piece for seed idea, specific details, lead, ending, and general mechanics (rubric to follow)

At this point, fifth grade moves to Raising the Quality of Narrative Writing and fourth grade works with Timeline Strategy



* Suggested topics for procedural mini-lessons

Resource: Lucy Calkins-Units of Study for Teaching Writing Grades 3-5


Yahoo has a user group for teachers that use Units of Study


2 Responses to “Starting the Writing Workshop-Intermediate Grades”

  1. Stacey Says:

    Give the M.W.T.P.’s a go, but adapt them to your students’ needs. Try to make them one paragraph of speech, rather than several. Hopefully that will help you fit it all in.

    Looks like a great plan!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s