Writer's Workshop

Writer's Workshop in Second Grade: What does it look like?

Second grade learners will continue to write more complex ideas and complete more varied writing prompts and projects. As they continue to hone in on their writing skills, utilize a variety of graphic organizers to help with pre-writing and continue to establish a clear Writer's Workshop routine.

Second grade writers will learn routines and procedures to follow in the workshop setting. They will think about a topic, brainstorm, develop their ideas and then write as a strategy for their narrative writing. They will also become proficient with editing their writing for capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Writer's Workshop projects can be guided or student choice, and may be completed with paper and pencil, by using technology, or a little bit of both. This is at your discretion.


  1. a mini lesson
  2. status of the class/independent writing
  3. sharing/closing


During each mini-lesson, you have the flexibility to decide what might be most helpful to your learners that day. The mini-lesson should only be about five to ten minutes long, and should be something that is applicable to the project they are working on. It can be a general skill or something specific that will help them to complete their work successfully.

Status of the Class/Independent Writing:

After the mini-lesson, explain the task for the day, and students can begin working independently. Check in with each learner to check on current work. You can utilize a simple checklist to do this. While working, touch base with each learner to note progress and help as needed. This portion of the Writer's Workshop will take up the bulk of time. (Tip: Use sticky notes to help keep track of how far each student has gotten on his or her work, or note which ones you might need to circle back to that day. Sticky notes can also be helpful tools for students to use on their work as they edit or write.)


To wrap up Writer's Workshop for the day, close out the time by reconnecting and regrouping. You might circle back to the mini-lesson to check for understanding, or share observations from the independent work time that day. This is also the designated time for sharing. You might also provide your students with a preview or goal for the following day. Be sure that students place their work into their Writer's Workshop folders and store them properly for the next day. If you collect them, it is easy to peek at each one to double check on progress if needed before utilizing them during the next scheduled Writer's Workshop.

They will also focus on the following writing genres:

  • Opinion Writing: State an opinion and the reason(s) for that opinion.
    • Possible Prompts:
      • Should kids be allowed to have cell phones?
      • Should we continue to use plastic bottles?
      • Which season is the best?
      • Would you rather be strong or able to fly?
      • Which animal is better: cats or dogs?
      • Should students have homework? Why or why not?
  • Informative: Identify a topic and provide information about that topic.
    • Possible Prompts:
      • What is your favorite book? Describe the books to someone else by explaining the characters, setting, and important details.
      • Think of something you recently learned how to do. Describe it and then explain the steps to another peer in writing.
      • Compare and contrast life in the city to life in the country.
      • Write about different ways that people can exercise.
  • Narrative: Tell about two or more sequential events with details and time order words.
    • Possible Prompts:
      • Write a story about a student starting a new school.
      • Tell a story about a time when you were excited. Include events and details.
      • Create a story about an animal. Include details about the setting, other characters, and events.
      • Tell a fantasy tale about a character that faced a difficult choice in a far-off land. Include descriptions of the setting, characters, and events.