1st Edition

Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop

By Shelley Harwayne Copyright 2021

    When writing workshops first blossomed in classrooms, its hallmarks were genuine curiosity, individual choice, quality conversations, and engaging children's literature. A joyous hum of intention, creativity, and craft enlivened the school day. Today's teachers are often faced with a range of obstacles, as new initiatives are embraced, mandates handed down, and scripted programs are purchased. Sometimes teachers must sacrifice the original principles of the writing workshop and lose the creative venue they provide. Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop is filled with original writing challenges designed to bring back the spirit of the original writing workshop model and encourage teachers to enhance it with invention, innovation, and inspiration. Teaching creative writing is not only possible, but an important process in their instruction. Author Shelley Harwayne invites teachers to keep the workshop spirit alive by: Encouraging professional conversations on classroom ideas and methods between colleagues; Developing writing cues that allow young writers to be inquisitive, outspoken, and independent; Showing how high quality writing can make a difference; Offering an inspired and stimulating outlet for students to express their passions. Harwayne's book will help teachers encourage students to write the world around them, which can generate more critical thinking and make for a more well-rounded child.

    Prologue: Why This Book; Part One: Getting Up from Your Desk; Chapter 1: Across-the-Globe Writing; Chapter 2: Quirky Questions and Biographical Sketches; Chapter 3: Playing Favorites; Chapter 4: Learning from One Writer; Part Two: Camaraderie Among Writers; Chapter 5: Simple Scaffolds; Chapter 6: Curiosity at the Core; Chapter 7: And the Award Goes to …; Chapter 8: Could It Really Happen?; Part Three: Original and High Quality; Chapter 9: Just for a Day Writing; Chapter 10: Doing What the Animals Do; Chapter 11: Imagine If You Were …; Chapter 12: Wearing a Mask; Chapter 13: Doing What They Do Best; Chapter 14: Writing with Refrains; Chapter 15: Definitional Picture Books; Part Four: More Than an Audience of One; Chapter 16: Would You Rather …?; Chapter 17: Nonfiction Calendars; Chapter 18: Creating Reader's Notes; Chapter 19: Creating Glossaries; Chapter 20: Research and Riddles; Chapter 21: Every Day of the Week; Chapter 22: Author Scrapbooks; Part Five; Chapter 23: Professional Development Opportunities; Chapter 24: Concluding Thoughts: On Inventing, Innovating, and Inspiring One Another


    Shelley Harwayne has been associated with the New York public schools for more than 50 years, serving as a teacher, staff developer, principal, superintendent and currently as a volunteer. Throughout the years, she has consulted with school districts nationwide, published  several professional texts as well as books for emergent readers and was honored with the NCTE Language Arts Educator of the Year award.

    “This book extends joyful, engaging invitations to children across grade levels to develop expertise, read and research meaningfully, and write for authentic, rewarding purposes. Shelley Harwayne’s ideas provide motivation and inspiration to innovate, along with practical support, detailed approaches, student and teacher examples, and sets of rich book lists that point the way for young writers.”

    Anne Atwell Merkel, classroom teacher and co-author of The Reading Zone, Second Edition

    "In the same way a beautiful photograph can do, Shelley Harwayne’s writing takes us back to our roots: as teachers of writing, as creative thinkers, and as educators who marvel at what our students can do. Always the researcher, Shelley is honest in her delivery of information and in sharing both the successes and challenges of being a teacher of writing."

    Joanne Hindley, Principal

    “Shelley Harwayne roots us in writing workshop, generous to those pioneers among whom she worked. Above and beyond these origins, she unveils an abundance of ingenious lessons, each one culturally inclusive, each one infused with opportunities for empathy and joy. Almost without our noticing, the grace of the text transforms us, awakening us to the wonders of the world, more curious and able to discover lessons and qualities of successful writing.”

    Andrea Lowenkopf, Education Consultant

    Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop is a must-read for anyone who feels they have lost the heart of writing workshop in their classroom. Shelley’s words harken back to the original spirit ignited years ago by Donald Graves and others to inspire and energize today’s teachers. Shelley reminds us of the importance of honoring experimentation, choice, and celebration within writing workshop.”

    Jennifer Allen, Literacy Specialist

    “Rooted in authenticity, Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop shares a constellation of writing strategies to engage kids and activate them as writers. In an era where prescriptive writing programs dominate the curriculum, Shelley Harwayne offers a refreshing alternative that urges us to teach kids to write like real writers in writing workshops that celebrate their curiosity, creativity, and individuality.”

    Stephanie Harvey, co-author of Strategies that Work, Third Edition.

    “The writing challenges in Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop inspired my teachers to think differently about writing workshop. Their creativity and risk-taking helped my students to develop a passion for writing. This book is a must-read for all who want to breathe new life into their teaching of writing.” — Monica R. Berry, Principal

    Above and Beyondthe Writing Workshop is a treasure trove of joyful and inspiring ideas. It is Shelley at her best, bringing craft to life while demonstrating incredible potential for lifting the level of writing. Enjoy the fresh lens she brings to topics. Reclaim the value of choice, voice, intention, and writing with authentic purpose that will engage an audience.”

    Sharon Hill, Principal

    “Shelley challenges us to remember who we are, where we came from, and whose shoulders we are standing on. She invites us to reclaim and revive the dignity, passion, and hope that is fostered when writing instruction is elevated to life. With a relentless sense of urgency, Shelley waves the banner and I join in her crusade.”

    Michael Oliver, Principal