How many of you have your students make lists to include inside their writer’s notebook? Specifically, at the beginning of the year. How many of you only have your students refer back to them if they say they don’t know what to write about? What if students created lists and actually knew how to use them and used them continuously throughout the year? Not only would lists become useful, but the entire writer’s notebook would become a real tool for students. No more making lists and abandoning them!
Here is how it works. Students spend a day creating a list, and they really do like doing this. Over the next couple of days, your students are using those lists to do quick writes, each time choosing a different topic. They are rehearsing topics that could possibly turn into full-blown drafts down the road. On the fourth day, students reflect on their quick writes, choose their most favorite, start it over, and they write a more in-depth piece. This last piece may eventually lead to a draft, or it may simply be left as something they wrote and were passionate about.
When having students create lists, it doesn’t have to be fancy. They simply need a notebook and a page to record their list. I created a small list of lists that you can download for free HERE. It will get you started!
Like I mentioned, making lists doesn’t have to be fancy! Here is a list of some of my favorite Writing Workshop tools.
If you want to try out writing from a list in your classroom, you can download List Writing: Volume 1 for FREE. This resource can be used any day of the year. It contains an Implementation Guide (step-by-step teacher directions), five eye-catching lists (provided in two formats), and draft/publishing paper.