Workshop Wednesday - Favorite Writing Mini-Lessons! - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday - Favorite Writing Mini-Lessons!

Now..... It's that time again!
Today, we are sharing our favorite mini-lessons from Writer's Workshop!

I'm pulling one out from the beginning of the year because, honestly, I'm already thinking about it. We have 26 school days left... and they are filled with testing, field day, awards day, End of the Year F&P Benchmarks... so there won't be any stellar writing lessons happening anytime soon, let's just be honest.

I always start the year with how to write narratives- mainly taking small moments and stretching them out. I'm sure you know the stories that prompt these kinds of lessons...

One time, I went to the beach. It was a long trip there. Finally we got there. I was so excited! I ran to the ocean as soon as I could. I played in the waves. I made a sand castle. I caught a crab. Then we went out to eat for dinner. Then we went to sleep at our hotel. The END


I call that a watermelon story. It's got WAAAAY too many seeds. The seeds are the details that I want to hear more about, and what I want them to use to make an entire story!! I share a couple "bad" stories like that one (that I just make up on the spot usually) and we talk about what "seed" we could use from the "watermelon" to make a better story. Then we do an activity on the SmartBoard where the kiddos explain why and then move events either to the watermelon area or the seed area:

Finally, it's time for them to think of ideas! I give them this page to glue in their writing notebooks:
They have to think of two big "watermelon" events from their life and then narrow down to the details, or the "seeds." This gives them six seeds to write with later! :) And hey! Pssst! Click here or the picture above and download the seed idea organizer for free! ;-) 

Now it's your turn! Make sure to grab this button and link back to my blog! Be sure to be supportive of our fellow bloggy friends and comment on at least two other link-ups! :)


  1. What a great writing idea! My firsties are always giving me a lot of "seeds"...this is a great way to help them see that and start concentrating on the details of one seed. LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Not sure why my link isn't showing the "name." Oh well, I guess people will just have to play a guessing game when they click on it this week.

    I love the visual for the seed ideas. Teaching students to expand a moment is such a long process. I feel like some of my kids still need to work on it even now! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love, love, love this graphic organizer. Can't wait to use it next year. I think I will use it with the book "Rollercoaster" and we will work on narrowing down our entire summer holidays! Pinned it immediately!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  4. What a cute graphic organizer! We use the same terminology when teaching narratives, so this will be very useful for me. Thanks for the freebie. :)

  5. 26 days? You're almost there! I don't want to count how many we have left. Lol!

    I love the graphic organizer. I've seen a few anchor charts, but yours is the first organizer with this idea. I think it will really help students narrow their focus when they are selecting topics!


  6. Great lesson and organizer. :) I posted recently about a book titled Roller Coaster which would be a great mentor text to use with your lesson. Thanks for sharing the organizer with us.
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  7. Thank you for lifting our spirits-such powerful words! I looooove the seeds idea! I teach zooming in and exploding out a moment, but this is I'm a watermelon fan :O)! Totally stealing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. I love this idea! I try and try to help my kiddos break down their ideas, but I've never thought of teaching this concept through a metaphor like this. I think this will be really helpful for my students Thanks!

  9. I love your watermelon graphic organizer. Kids have a hard time narrowing down their thinking and this will be a great visual. Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  10. Thanks for reminding me that evil is outnumbered in this world. It is sometimes easy to forget this when things look bad. Yes, its time to be the good we want to see.
    First Grade Carousel

  11. I saw that quote yesterday and love it. I am going to link up with you next week! I am taking pictures this week of their "How To" writing so I can link up with you next week!
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

  12. I love writing mini-lessons and always need new ideas. Thanks for setting this up. I'm going to go and find some new writing lessons.

    Third Grade Galore

  13. Thanks for the awesome Seed story graphic organizer! My kids always have trouble narrowing down ideas, so it's great to have resources like this to use.

    Compassionate Teacher


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