All takes place in the context of a writer’s workshop classroom.
That’s what a writer’s notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don’t want to forget. A writer’s notebook gives you a place to live like a writer.
They have been called many things, but it is the principal behind them that unifies them.
Reread and sift out the most valuable pieces, bits that spark your own original writing. Ask yourself: What seems interesting/intriguing? What stuff do I care about? What ideas keep tugging at me? What seems bold and original? Reread. Look for seeds. Look for sparks.
Read the room right now. Write a quick entry about what you’re noticing, how you feel about being back at school today, an overheard conversation or anything else you wish to record about what’s happening in here this morning. You will not have to share this entry with anyone! This is the type of “Idea Notebook” entry you’ll want your kids to write.
Think of a meaningful place. It could be anything from the kitchen table in the home where you grew up to your favorite beach in Florida. List small moments related to that place. Write about one of those small moments in your writer’s notebook.
Study the photograph. Think about: Who or what is pictured? Where was the picture taken? When was the picture taken? Why did you choose this photo to bring in today? Write about the small moment related to the photograph.
Think about a person who is important to you (living or deceased). List as many small moments as you can about that person. Write about one of those small moments with him/her.
Examine the object closely. When did you get it? Where did you buy or acquire it from? Who gave it to you? Why is it important? List everything! Write a small moment entry related to this object.
You have ideas worth writing down!
…and so, the creative circle goes round and
You may not
see yourself as
a writer… BUT
When I find something that inspires me, I write
about it in my writer's notebook. I think of my
writer's notebook as a true friend, a great listener,
someone who will accept whatever I write (the good,
the bad, the weird, and the tedious). My writer's
notebook never judges me. It understands that
becoming a writer takes a long time, and we might as
well have a little fun along the way.
Ralph Fletcher (2005)
What is aWhat is a Writer’sWriter’s
Not a diary!
Writers react. Writers need
a place to record these
Writing SmallWriting Small
Seed IdeasSeed IdeasMind PicturesMind Pictures
Snippits of TalkSnippits of Talk
Writing that InspiresWriting that Inspires
Unforgettable StoriesUnforgettable Stories
Reflects the writer’s
Small notepad, a journal, a
sketch book, or a composition
Place to keep your thoughts, dreams,
words, lists, ramblings, stories,
reflections, quotes, pictures…
Notebook ChecklistNotebook Checklist
Keep your notebook with you at all times.
Date every entry.
Do not skip pages.
All drawings should have writing with them.
Number the pages.
Vary your topics.
Care for your notebook.
Make sure there is evidence
of what you’re learning in your
“Tell the truth about your
life and what’s really going
Final thought about what a notebookFinal thought about what a notebook
is from fifth grader, Briana Carlin.is from fifth grader, Briana Carlin.
A notebook is where you keep dew drops from a dew
drop morning. It’s where the sun sets. It’s the wind
in your face at the beach looking out over the water.
A notebook is where you’re playing with your dog.
It’s where you have dreams about walking on
rainbows. It’s where the good feelings and the bad
feelings spend the night.