I always begin by watching Eric Carle read The Very Hungry Caterpillar on his website, then watch his interview about using big, bold colors in his books. We look at pictures of his studio, and link that to our classroom tools we can all use to be authors, just like Eric Carle. My kiddos love the fact that he began writing when he was 5! I've taught this lesson with 1st-5th graders, and they all love it! Different age groups take something different away from the videos, so they're well worth the effort, no matter what age you work with.
I make anchor charts with the procedures, tips from authors, and other ideas found in one of my "bibles".
I also make anchor charts with spelling strategies. We add to all the charts throughout the year.
The whole idea of writing workshop is for students to work as authors, making books, sharing their books, and using their classmates' books in the class library. At the beginning of the year, I make the books. As the year progresses, students begin to put books together themselves. These are some examples from my first grade class.
Some students need a little help coming up with ideas, so I leave out a menu choice for them. To celebrate this blog hop, I'll offer my Writing Menu as a freebie for a week.