Start off every school year with Writer’s Workshop Jump Start. It has three big purposes.
- Get your kids comfortable and happy about writing with high interest, low pressure writing ideas.
- Teach kids the writing process.
- Become acquainted with the Writer’s Notebook and the Writer’s Workshop format of writing.
Jump Start should take about a month to complete, give or take. You can work at your pace. You can repeat this unit again and again, choosing new Mini Lessons, Exercises, and a Project each time. You’ll also find a growing list of resources within the tabs on this page to utilize as needed.
Here’s how to use Jump Start:
Step 1: Mini Lesson
Your Jump Start day will begin with a Mini Lesson, a short lesson about grammar, punctuation, word choice, writing skills and more. Mini Lessons appear in sidebars on every page so there are lots to choose from. You don’t need to do all of the Mini Lessons in the unit, just pick and choose the ones that look interesting or are skills your kids need to hone!
Step 2: Exercises
All through the unit are exercises to warm your kids up to writing. You’ll be creating a bucket list of things you would like to do before you “kick the bucket” and writing a journal entry using the “If I Could Go Anywhere” printable. These are meant to be short, quick exercises to get kids feeling like writing isn’t a chore and doesn’t have to be perfect. It takes practice to build happy writing muscles!
The Exercises mostly end up in your Journal. They are not graded and are private, unless the writer wants to share them. Spelling, grammar, and mechanics don’t matter. This is about getting ideas down on paper!
This section also includes lots of exercises to teach kids (and Mom or Dad) the Writing Process as well as how to evaluate writing so when a writer gets feedback, it helps the writer to get even better at writing instead of discouraging him or her.
Like the Mini Lessons, you don’t need to do all the Exercises. Pick and choose the ones you like. You’ll be coming back to this unit next year so be sure to save some good ideas for later.
Step 3: Writing Project
To finish off Jump Start, each writer will choose a piece of writing from his or her Journal to take through the Writing Process. That piece of writing will be expanded, corrected, revised, and then published for an audience (probably your family!) where it will get applauded.
Then Mom, Dad, or another mentor will carefully and thoughtfully evaluate the finished Writing Project with help from the Jump Start guide. Kids and parents will talk together about what the writer learned and what the writer can make even better.
This unit comes with a Printable Pack of printables that go with exercises and sidebar Mini Lessons.