Writer’s Workshop is a writing program for your whole family, from emergent writers right up to Mom and Dad. This is a sample exercise about the parts of speech. Try it with all your kids.
This Writer’s Workshop exercise is from Writer’s Workshop Jump Start, which is the first unit to dig into with your family. In Jump Start, you’ll learn to use the Journal as a place to pour your thoughts out unimpeded, re-wire your thinking to begin expressing yourself with writing rather than seeing it as a chore, and learn to take a piece of writing clear through the writing process to publication. Join us for a family-style writing program in Writer’s Workshop.
As kids begin writing, it’s important to understand the basic parts of speech. Words do jobs for us. Each part of speech does a special job in a sentence. Once we understand those jobs, we can begin to use them to write more clear, descriptive, cohesive sentences.
Step 1 Mini-Lesson
Start each Writer’s Workshop lesson off with a 5-10 minute mini-lesson with all of your kids. The sidebars of each Writer’s Workshop unit are lined with mini-lesson ideas to choose from. For this lesson, you will review pronouns.
Practice coming up with pronouns together. Begin by brainstorming a list of nouns. Together, think of words that could take the place of those nouns.
Tree = it
Byron = he
Shopping carts = them
Lucille and I = we
Jackie = she
Now everyone can write a sentence or two that uses pronouns. Use a highlighter pen to highlight the pronouns you used.
Step 2 Exercise: Parts of Speech Flipbook
Spend most of your Writer’s Workshop time on the exercise, which should last as long or as short as you need it to, day by day.
For this exercise, you’ll need construction paper, a ruler, a hole punch, pencils, markers, brads, scissors, and the Parts of Speech printable to use as a reference.
Make a flip book to help you learn each of the parts of speech.
The biggest sheet is a full-size sheet of construction paper. Each page was reduced by one ruler’s width from the one underneath it. Put your ruler down along the bottom edge, trace the edge with a pencil, and then cut along the line. Sharply crease each page so it will easily flip up along the crease mark. Hole punch the top and attach the whole flipbook together with brads.
Use the Parts of Speech printable to define each part of speech. If you want to, you can color-coordinate our printable with our flipbook so visual kids can associate each color with its assigned part of speech. Write example words on each page of the flip book to create a word bank for each part of speech.
As you come across interesting words, keep adding them to your flipbook. You can keep it on hand as you write to provide a word bank of interesting words. It provides access to vivid words and reminds you to use lots of description and full sentences as you write. You can also use your flipbook to quiz on the parts of speech or help you fill out mad libs for a review of the parts of speech.
Step 3: Writing Project
Most exercises stay in your Writer’s Notebook to be used a reference, inspiration, or to be tossed at a later date, but about once a month, one piece of writing should be taken clear through the writing process. This is your writing project.
As you are working on your writing project this month, keep your Parts of Speech Flip Book at your side. If you find short sentences that lack description, you can remind yourself to throw in a brilliant verb, an adjective, an adverb, and a preposition.
You can learn details about the writing process and how to mentor writers in the Writer’s Workshop Guidebook.
Step 4: Evaluating Writing
Every piece of writing that makes it to publication needs to be shared before an audience and then evaluated. The audience should cheer for the writer and ask curious and positive questions about the writing when appropriate. Evaluations should be designed to help the writer grow, not just to create a grade. Every Writer’s Workshop Unit comes with specific helps for the evaluator including a rubric that is specific to the genre being taught. General writing evaluation criteria and strategies are taught to the parent in the Writer’s Workshop Guidebook.
What You’ll Find in Every Writer’s Workshop Unit
You’ll find printables in every Writer’s Workshop unit. They are tools for helping kids learn the writing process, skills, and ways to write in specific genres. They make lessons in a family-school setting a little more manageable for parents too.
In each unit, kids will be doing a variety of writing exercises as well as one project. They will learn to take their project through the writing process, incorporating what they’ve learned during the exercises. Each unit has a big idea bank for kids to choose from so they can find something meaningful that they get to choose personally in each genre.
Every unit also includes a rubric to help parents or mentors know how to give feedback that will help writers grow. Rubrics are tools writers can use to self-check and mentors can use to know what to look for in each writing genre. We never just slap a grade on writing. Every bit of feedback is a tool to improve and grow.
More Writer’s Workshop
Learn more about Writer’s Workshop and how it can help you create writers (not just grammar workbook filler-outers!). We invite you to check out the Writer’s Workshop Curriculum Guide. Then see how Layers of Learning can change your whole homeschool into a happy, hands-on family school with the Writer’s Workshop Guidebook. We believe learning is about exploring! If you like exploring, you’ll love the rest of the Layers of Learning program too – history, geography, science, and art, all taught with your whole family exploring together.
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