Elaine Forrestal

Upper Primary/ Lower Secondary Writing Workshop

Short workshop

Duration: 1 hour
Number of students:
Ideally, one class group per session (maximum of 30 students)
Equipment:
Presenter:

  • Overhead projector, whiteboard (or PowerPoint facilities)

Students:

  • Something to write on
  • Something to write with
  • (Draft book, notebook or paper used for making a rough draft)

Outline

Students will be told a story, with visuals that may include photos, pictures, maps, shown on a screen or blank wall.

Students will be given the opportunity to tell a story of their own.

And/Or they will be invited to ask questions about the story told to them.

Students will then work independently for 10 minutes getting their ideas down on the page. This will be a rough draft. Spelling, punctuation, neatness will not be emphasised at this stage.

Break for general discussion and students to ask any questions about books, publishing, being an author.

Editing and redrafting

A successful, published short story will be read and ‘pulled apart’. Students will discuss with the author the techniques that make that particular story work.

Students then read what they have written so far, and make changes.

Give their characters a voice
Take out information that the reader already knows or can work out for themselves.

Full day workshop

Ideal for students who are keen writers or have shown interest in improving their writing skills.

Number of students: Maximum 30 students per session
Equipment
Presenter:

  • Overhead projector, whiteboard (or PowerPoint facilities)

Students:

  • Notebook/draft book/exercise book
  • Pens/pencils/word processor

Outline

Students will be given a range of ‘story starter’ options or they can work on an idea of their own if they already have one.

1st hour

This will follow much the same pattern as the 1 hour workshop, except that more time can be given to the first draft.

2nd hour

During this time students will work on their drafts and the author will spend time with each one, making suggestions and offering advice.

3rd hour

Using pencil, students will work in pairs and act as each other’s editors. Once they have made suggestions (in pencil so that they can be rubbed out later) on their partner’s work, they will discuss the suggested changes with their partner. The author will again monitor their progress.

4th hour

Acting on advice given by the author and/or their partner, students will make a new draft of their story.

Depending on the age and ability of the students, some finished work may be produced, but it is important to allow the students themselves to decide whether their story is ready for publication.