Writing workshop encourages writers to practice work that is similar to the work of professional authors. Students choose their own topics, issues, and stories to write about and move through the writing process to produce and “publish” a variety of genres throughout the year. Students study high quality published middle grade and young adult literature, in addition to real-world texts like newspaper or magazine articles. Students receive explicit instruction in writing strategies to navigate through the writing process. Utilizing various writing tools, writers create different genres throughout the year. Students have time to write every day.
In writing workshop, students learn to communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the technological platforms, tools, styles, formats, and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Eighth Grade Writing Workshop
By eighth grade, students have experienced writing in a variety of genres, including narrative, argument, and informational texts. In writing workshop, students are able to choose the ideas, issues, or stories that they write about. Eighth grade writers learn to lay out an argument, make clear why their position is important and valid, and address counterclaims. Additionally, students will write informational texts that address key issues within a topic, demonstrate why these issues are important, and use a variety of text structures to communicate ideas.
Writing Units of Study may include:
- The Literary Essay: Analyzing Craft and Theme: Eighth-grade writers develop arguments and counterarguments about themes in texts, supporting their positions with details of plot, character, and author’s craft.
- Investigative Journalism: Eighth-grade students write news and investigative articles about meaningful topics, establish multiple perspectives on a topic, and develop ideas in a way that establishes a connection with readers.
- Position Papers: Research and Argument: Eighth-grade writers study how to explain complex issues and compose arguments by drawing on evidence, providing relevant context, and addressing multiple perspectives.