Language Arts Grade 4
Unit: Launching Writing Workshop
Duration: 4 Weeks
Purposes: Creating a Community of Writers, Establishing Routines for Real Writing, Finding, Showing not Telling, Narrowing and Elaborating Ideas
Essential Questions:Why do people write? Where do writers get their ideas? How does an author help readers see what is in his/her mind?

The first 4 weeks of school focuses on helping students see themselves as writers, creating a community of writers and establishing the routines of Writing Workshop. The focus of minilessons will be on finding and elaborating Ideas and students will apply what they learn to their own writing. They will watch the writer in action during minilessons and reflect on themselves as writers. Students will publish at least one piece of writing.

Desired Results
Common Core State Standards
Production and Distribution of Writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
Range of Writing
10.Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.

Connecticut Language Arts Standards
  • Use complete sentences in writing.
  • Write a variety of sentence beginnings, e.g., starts with an introductory adverb clause: If you want to see an ant up close, you should use a magnifying glass.
  • Write a variety of sentence lengths.
  • Write a variety of sentence structures, e.g., My dog enjoys music and howls when we listen to certain songs. It makes me laugh. After his song is over, I give him a treat.

  • Plan: choose an appropriate written, oral or visual format based on audience and purpose
  • Draft: complete a draft demonstrating connections among ideas
  • Revise: revise a completed draft, incorporating feedback from peers and teacher, e.g., … helped me understand the topic more clearly, I was confused by…, Be more clear about …, Use a better word for
  • Edit: use multiple resources, e.g., dictionary, glossary, thesaurus, for proofreading and editing
  • Publish/Present: publish and present final products in a variety of ways, including the arts and technology, e.g., book of poetry, a theatrical performance, a newscast
  • Reflect: critique one’s own and a peer’s writing, using established criteria, e.g., I improved on …, This piece demonstrates how well I elaborate.

Direct Assessment of Writing

Essential Questions
-Writers have strategies for finding and developing their ideas for their writing.
-Authors have different purposes for writing.
Why do people write?
Where do writers get their ideas?
How do authors help readers see what is in their mind?

The student will know...
The students will be able to...
-what makes a sentence complete
-how variety in sentence lengths, structures and beginnings enhance the writing
-the steps in the writing process
-use complete sentences in writing
-write a variety of sentence lengths, structures, and beginnings
-go through the writing process

Content Vocabulary

Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks

Published Writing
Formative Assessments

Student Interest Surveys
Fall Writing Prompt
Blue Ribbon Writing 1
Writing Samples
Grade 3 Prompt
Writing Conference Notes

Summative Assessments

Writing Prompt

Student Self-Assessments
Learning Plan
Units of Study, Calkins
Writing Workshop, Fletcher
Using Picture Books to Teach Writing with the Traits
No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers
Idea Development Lessons

Picture Books
The Roller Coaster by
Snowday by Ralph Fletcher
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
The Secret Knowledge of Grownups
Dog's Breath

Weeks One - Three
1. Week One-Two
Establish Writing Workshop Routines

Minilessons on Workshop Routines and Rules.
-Areas for Quiet Writing and Areas for Partner Feedback
-How to Distribute and Return Folder
-How to Access and Take Care of Materials
-Conference Procedures
-What to Do When You Finish a Piece of Writing
-How to Share and Give Feedback
-Using an Editing Checklist

2. Weeks One-Two
Idea Development: Finding and Narrowing Ideas
Minilessons on Finding Ideas Why do people write? Where do writers get their ideas? Chart ideas. Have students survey others either for homework or on the class blog or through some other web2.0 tool.

Nothing Ever Happens at HMS Finding ideas around the school.
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
Living a Writer's Life and Finding Writing Voice
-Writer's Notebooks
-Writing Territories
Examples of Personalized Writer's Notebooks
cwp 07-16-09 02.pptx
Minilessons on Finding Writing Ideas
-Heart Mapping
-Lessons in Lucy Calkins Units of Study Book 1
-I Am bio-poems
Heart Mapping Write from the heart.
Heart Maps and Writing Topics
external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation.png Heart Mapping.pptx
I Am Poem
Heart Map and I Am Poem Scoring Guide
3. Weeks Two-Four
Idea Development: Focus on Showing not Telling, Specific vs. General Details
Show What You See: Twits Lesson
Show Don't Tell Lesson
What Your Room Says About You (specific details)
Silly Animal Problems
Unique Imaginary Friends
Idea Development Lessons
Using 90th Street's Advice
Silly Animal Problems
Unique Imaginary Friends
Show Don't Tell Lesson
Showing Emotions Graphic Organizer showdon'ttell.pdf
Rolling With the Animals