Culturally Sustaining Writer’s Workshop for Beginners
Keywords:writer’s workshop, culturally sustaining pedagogy, linguistic diversity, mentor texts, agency in learning
This article presents the implementation of a writer’s workshop as a culturally sustaining practice, allowing students to exercise agency in their learning and writing. The workshop follows a structured flow of read-alouds, modeling, an invitation to write, and sharing. Teachers choose specific writing skills or crafts to teach, incorporating culturally relevant literature that exemplifies those skills. Students are encouraged to write in their own languages and explore diverse story structures while learning dominant forms of writing. The article emphasizes the importance of linguistic diversity and challenges the notion that only dominant English should be taught. Step-by-step guidance is provided to start a writer’s workshop, including book selection, modeling, and supporting students’ individual stories. The writer’s workshop aims to position students as active subjects in the instructional process, allowing them to express themselves while developing conventional writing skills. The article encourages teachers to begin with the suggested lessons and adapt them to meet the needs of their students to create a culturally sustaining classroom.