It’s 8:30 a.m. My eager writers are ready to dig into their ongoing writing projects. At the top of their lists are the books they are writing about endangered species.
The authors quickly retrieve their folders, spread out their drafts, and begin drafting, revising, editing, or illustrating. Watching them work, it is obvious that they are deeply invested in the animals they chose to research and the writing process they are using to share their knowledge. The focused energy in the room is amazing.
Occasionally, someone realizes more information is needed and he/she sets off to do some additional research.
More than once, excitement sends students scurrying to find me so they can share their latest discoveries.
“Mrs. V, did you know that the Arctic fox uses its long, bushy tail to keep its nose warm? That’s an adaptation!”
“Is that so? Did you include that information in your book?”
“Mrs. V., Mrs. V.! Guess what? If the Arctic wolf becomes extinct, its predators might not find enough food and become endangered! OR…Their prey will overpopulate the area, and it will be chaos! I need to include that information in my book…wait…should it be in a fact box or should I just write it in the chapter on environmental threats?”
“Which method will get your point across most effectively?”
“I think a fact box. Thank you, Mrs. V.!”
And yet another…
“Let me tell you about those sea turtles, Mrs. V…”
All too soon, our class time comes to an end. There are moans and groans and a few, “What?! It’s time already?” questions.
Not every writing workshop unfolds this smoothly, but I cherish the days when they do. When learners are in that flow state, they get to experience one of the greatest joys of writing.
That is when the magic begins.