Writing Workshop Architecture Assessment Mentor Texts and Charts Sample Lessons
by Component
Sample Lessons
by Genre


“It is also important that the writing workshop itself have a simple structure. Children should know what to expect. This allows them to carry on; it frees us as teachers from choreographing activities and allows us to listen and respond to individual students.” –Lucy Calkins

The Architecture of Writing Workshop

Writing workshop has three major components. The components that make up this daily 45-60 minute daily block include:

  • Minilesson (10 minutes)
    The mini-lesson is a short lesson that teaches the students one thing to help them become better writers. The teacher briefly models a writing technique or strategy. After students observe the teacher, they are given a few minutes to try out the new learning within the support of the group.
  • Workshop: Student writing with teacher conferring (30-40 minutes)
    The students spend most of the workshop writing independently while the teacher confers with individuals and small groups of students.

    • Mid-workshop Teaching Point (1-2 minutes)
      A brief interruption midway through the writing workshop by the teacher
  • Share (5-10 minutes)
    Every workshop ends with a sharing session. Students may share with their writing partner, the teacher may address an issue with her students or build on the day’s minilesson at this time, or one or two students may be invited to share their writing with the group creating a second student led minilesson. It is important to note that the share is another time to teach.