Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop

  • Title:Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop
  • Author:Shelley Harwayne
  • Publication Date:October 2021
  • ISBN: 9781625314307
  • Publisher:Stenhouse Publishers

When writing workshop first blossomed in classrooms, its hallmarks were genuine curiosity, individual choice, quality conversations, and engaging children’s literature. A joyous hum of intention, creativity, and craft enlivened the school day. But today’s teachers are often faced with a range of obstacles, as new initiatives are embraced, mandates handed down, and scripted programs purchased. Sometimes teachers must sacrifice the original principles of writing workshop and lose that joyous hum.

Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop by Shelley Harwayne is filled with original, joyful writing challenges designed to bring back the spirit of the original writing workshop model while encouraging educators to enhance it through invention, innovation, and inspiration. These challenges are meant to generate other lessons and other projects, as teachers come to realize that teaching writing is not only possible but perhaps the most important, relevant, and gratifying part of their instruction.

Shelley invites teachers to keep the groundbreaking spirit alive by:

  • taking back their writing workshops
  • finding time for professional conversations
  • trying out new ideas in the company of colleagues
  • encouraging children to be inquisitive, outspoken, and independent
  • reminding children how fascinating the world is
  • helping students delight in figuring out how things work and then teaching others what they have learned
  • offering children an opportunity to think deeply about their passions and giving one another new things to love
  • showing children that high quality writing can and will make a difference in the world.

Shelley believes children who write what matters to them—their experiences, their beliefs, their observations—will find their lives enhanced. She seeks to raise activists who, by becoming more aware of the world and asking why things are the way they are, will be empowered to make it better.

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