Date of Defense




First Advisor

Pamela Buchanan

Second Advisor

Gayle Ahleman


The writer's workshop is unique because it creates an excellent environment for everyday writing to take place. The writing workshop is focused around the fact that writing is constantly going on in our everyday lives. We write shopping lists, letters, reminders, stories, emails, messages, etc... Our goal as teachers should not only be to have our students learn how to write personal narratives and research papers, but for our students to become comfortable in every kind of writing, whether that is poetry, riddles, stories, skits or lists. Writing is not a skill that can be learned from a couple of lessons a week, which is why the workshop is committed to allowing students the chance to write every single day, for at least 45 minutes. The workshop also stresses responsive teaching rather than relying on preset lesson plans (Fletcher and Portalupi, 2001). The workshop is an intense learning environment where the students are constantly learning new writing skills and applying them to their writing. The teacher works off the student's energy and responds to the needs of the students during mini-lessons and throughout the individual writing time. Students are often allowed choice in their writing, which helps motivate them during the writing experience. The students can expect writing to be difficult at times, but can also expect to build on their strengths and become better writers. Arguably, one of the most important elements of the workshop is enthusiasm. It is vital that the teacher displays enthusiasm for writing and celebrates the writing process. The writing workshop is an excellent way to grow strong writers and create an active learning classroom.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only