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Lesson Plan

Write-Talks: Students Discovering Real Writers, Real Audiences, Real Purposes

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 60-minute and two 15-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Amy Alexandra Wilson

Athens, Georgia


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Published authors are not the only "real" writers. Real writers are people who use writing in their daily lives. These real writers compose e-mails or memos, personal blogs or websites, song lyrics, and more. This lesson plan, which is adaptable for use in middle school as well, introduces students to a wide world of writing. Students begin by brainstorming a list of the types of writing people do on a daily basis. Then, students work together to classify those writing genres in various categories, such as formal and informal, public and private, and digital writing. Students then invite people into the classroom to talk about what, why, and how they write in real life. As a culminating activity, students reflect on how these varying purposes and processes can apply to their own lives.

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Writing in the World handout: Have students use this handout to take notes as people give their Write-Talks.

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Wilson, A.A. (2008). Motivating young writers through "write-talks": Real writers, real audiences, real purposes. The Reading Teacher, 61(6), 485–487.

Parents, older siblings, and other influential people in students' lives can be invited into the classroom to share their unique ways of approaching the writing process as they write diverse texts that inhere in their everyday routines.


Dix, S. (2006). I'll do it my way: Three writers and their revision practices. The Reading Teacher, 59(6), 566–573.

Different people successfully adopt individual approaches to the writing process; this process in turn also varies according to the type of text and the author's intended audience.


Duke, N.K., Purcell-Gates, V., Hall, L.A., & Tower, C. (2006). Authentic literacy activities for developing comprehension and writing. The Reading Teacher, 60(4), 344–355.

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