Tag Archives: small moments

Brainstorming in WW

Over the years I have searched and searched for great charts for brainstorming.  Here are a few to help you out!

What’s the point? Instead of watermelon seeds/ watermelon analogy try using a pencil point to explain narrowing your focus.

What’s the Point?

Then have students try it using a prompt idea to narrow their topics down.

Getting to the Point

And its these great ideas that lead to great stories.  Coming up with them is hard!  Even for adults– using the heart map to create a large list is really helpful with small children and even for the intermediate crowd!

Writing from the heart

Back to Watermelon/ Seeds stories– it is also helpful for students to see the difference between an all about story and a seed story.  Here are two smaller charts to help them see how the different stories compare.

All about (watermelon) story

Here is the Seed Idea Story- I hang them side by side.  Great visual for little kids.

Seed Idea Story

See ya later! Have fun brainstorming!

I have a few more to post on brainstorming that I will get on next week.


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Filed under Brainstorming, Charts, Writer's Workshop

Launching Writer’s Workshop

September is here and so is a new Writer’s Workshop! This is an exciting year for our students.  They take the knowledge of beginning, middle and end stories and begin to truly craft a creative personal narrative!

But before they can do that, we wrote on what WW is, how the writing process works and how we will work with each other and our teacher. Here are some charts to help with that:

The Elements of Writer's Workshop

How WW is set up!










Managing Our Writing


The five steps of the writing process set up as a management tool for students to evaluate where they are in the writing process.

Writing from the Heart or Close to Your Bones

Now it time to select some topics!  We write from the heart or “close to our bones” in 110!  These are the things that are most important to us.  Students learn that if you care about it, and it means more to you, then your reader will know that too.   Here is a chart to help students find those those special moments, people, places.  This is a true anchor chart as students contributed to this with their own writing.

Oral Story Telling chart

After we think about some topics, it’s time to tell our stories to each other.  We use a five finger story telling method because, if you can say it, you can write it!  I usually pick a topic that is funny or scary or sad!  I model for them using this poster and students TALK!  They share their own silly, funny, angry, or scary story!  It can get pretty crazy but fun– and they begin to see that they need to excite their reader on paper next!

Choosing a Small Moment

And of course before the begin these stories we need to make sure we narrow down or topics to SMALL MOMENTS!  Students learn that All About stories are the watermelon but the seeds of that watermelon, well, they are the small moment.  Together we take large ALL ABOUT topics and narrow the focus to something smaller we can really sink our teeth into.


Filed under Charts, Writer's Workshop