Launching the Writer's Workshop: Grades 3-12 (3rd Edition)

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Launching the Writer's Workshop: Grades 3-12 (3rd Edition)

ISBN: 978-0-9790186-8-8

by Kristina Smekens and Dr. Maureen Scane

Part 1—The Launch

Starting up a writer's workshop can be an awkward and anxious experience. Many teachers confess that they struggle to get it off the ground. What should I do the first weeks of school? What are key lessons to jumpstart my writer's workshop? How fast or slow should I move? These are valid questions. It's easy to see why so many teachers are eager for some beginning-of-the-year lesson suggestions.

The first 50 pages of this resource target the heart of what every teacher wants for the initial weeks of school:

  • Techniques for generating topic ideas.
  • Procedures to establish topic ideas.
  • Methods to introduce the 6 Traits to students.
  • Strategies for building a kid-friendly writing rubric.

Part 2—The Rest of the Year

What do I do after the "launch"? How do I organize my writing units? Which lessons should I teach when? The second half of this resource includes over 50 explicit mini-lessons that target the most essential writing skills throughout the rest of the year.

The remaining 60 pages of the book provide what every teacher wants when planning writing units:

  • Lessons tied to particular writing genres (i.e., argumentative, persuasive, informative, narrative).
  • Bulleted points to highlight within the 15-minute lesson instruction.
  • Teacher tips that offer lesson insight and potential adaptations.
  • Ready-to-go downloadable resources that support each lesson.
  • Anchor papers and/or mentor text suggestions to demonstrate the lesson skill.
  • Trigger suggestions that make the abstract concepts more visible and concrete for learners.
  • Spin-off activities for students to accomplish during independent writing time.

For Grades 3-12

Physical copy is 125 spiral-bound pages with exclusive website access to lesson resources (See page 4 for the URL).

Digital copy is a downloadable PDF (Acrobat) Document File that includes exclusive website access to lesson resources (See page 4 for the URL) (Product Note: A download link will be sent via email after purchase. No physical products will be shipped.)

Learn more about author & teacher Kristina Smekens.

Watch this video where Smekens Education Remote Coach Bridget Longmeier explains how to use this resource in your classroom.


Click the link below to watch an Ask Smekens video with the answer to this frequently-asked question:



Also available for Grades K-2:

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