Writerly Life

Choosing and Nurturing a Seed Idea

After gathering many notebook entries, writers will begin to find “writing territories,” or subjects that they are drawn to writing about. As your notebook grows you will be more likely to uncover recurring themes or ideas. For this unit, it might be more helpful for you to think about some areas where there might be opportunities for students to decide on a writing idea/topic and think more deeply about what they have to say about it. We often call this “nurturing a seed,” because much like planting a garden, there are still many things we need to tend to in order to grow our writing. Workshop writers re-read their notebooks or folders to inform this choice—the idea they wish to make into something—a memoir, a poem, an All-About book, a commentary, a feature article, or a story. In choosing this seed, writers decide to stay with one idea for a long time until it becomes their own best work.

The following video shows an example of the mini-lesson provided in the resources section of this page. It shows one strategy for uncovering what more there is to say/write about a particular seed idea. Double-click on the black box below to watch the video.

Try It:
Share one of your notebook entries with a colleague or family member to uncover what more you have to say about that piece of writing.


Sign up for our Newsletter
Help Us Reach 20,000 Students Annually