Writing Proposal

CHOICE: An essential element of the Writing Workshop

According to dictionary.com, choice is the right, power, or opportunity to choose.


[chooz] verb
1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:She chose Sunday for her departure.2. to prefer or decide (to do something): He chose to run forelection.3. to want; desire.

When students want or desire to write, we see the benefits of increased engagement and motivation to learn. It is their interests that guide our instructional moves. Within each unit of study in my classroom, I always have students working within the genre we're studying. In addition to that piece, all students also work on a "Writing Proposal Piece." This is a piece that is completely driven by them. I work beside them as their "editor in chief." They delight in the realness of the work. It is an opportunity to apply their learning in a context and publication that is personally meaningful and breathes joy into the Writing Workshop.

The nitty gritty:
For those of you detail-oriented types, I facilitate the following in my Writing Workshop.
Mini Lesson: 10-15 minutes
Independent Writing/Conferring: For the first ten minutes, students must work on applying the mini lesson to the genre study. After ten minutes, when students hear the timer, they may continue working on their genre study or Writing Proposal piece. I write and model being a writer during the first ten minutes, then move into conferring for the remainder of Independent Writing time.
Share: This is an opportunity to get students' voices in the room. In the early days of the Writing Workshop I encourage students to share and note who has the courage to do so. This informs my conversations with my writers. Then, I begin expecting everyone to share. This builds upon my assumptions as a teacher and writer: everyone has value to add to the discussion. I begin by inviting students to share a word, phrase, or sentence from their piece. Everyone shares. As the school year progresses, I use this as a time to revisit the teaching point, asking students to share an excerpt displaying their application of the teaching point. This provides an opportunity for reteaching and celebrates students work.

According to Penny Kittle, writers need

You'll have choice in each genre we study...
I'll provide the tools you need to write well...
I'll respond often and quickly so you can continue to craft and learn...
-From Write Beside Them (page 64).

Please upload the ways you incorporate choice into your Writing Workshop!

To honor the process and journey that a piece of writing has taken, invite students to reflect on their writing proposal piece.

Here are a few student work samples from fifth graders: