Author’s Chair

A writer’s process culminates in publication.  In The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy Caulkins points at the pedagogical value of publication: “The first way to improve their initial skills is to give students a sense of authorship”.   A most common form of writer’s workshop publication is individuals voluntarily sharing what they wrote with their peers as they sit in a specially-designated, “author’s chair”.

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The author’s chair element of the writer’s workshop allows for sharing with peers, and receiving and giving feedback.  In my class, two or three authors will present their writing each week.  They prompt their peers for questions or comments.  Most of their peers are excited to ask a question of or give a compliment to the presenting author.

Some children are soft-spoken and may need support at first.  But with practice all students improve.  When students view themselves as authors, they learn they have a point of view- an opinion, they learn they have a voice and can contribute to society.

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