National Writing Project

Choice and Agency in the Writing Workshop: A Conversation with Fred Hamel

Date: June 8, 2017

Summary: Fred Hamel, author of Choice and Agency in the Writing Workshop: Developing Engaged Writers, Grades 4-6, joins NWP Radio to talk about why upper elementary children need ways to become literate as kids, not merely as prototypes of adults or teenagers.


Excerpt from Show

Fred Hamel on the benefits of allowing children to pursue alternative forms of composition:

I would say to educators that the visuals that Carla and Ricky and Martin were composing in the classroom that serve these variety of purposes to really help them acquire a writing identity, the visuals were a huge source, a kind of groundwork for them to be meaning makers. And I think that's the piece they needed—they needed to shape a meaning world that they could have access to. And if they're not feeling confident immediately writing the two-page narrative in double-spaced writing, and doing that alphabetically with all the complexities of that kind of composition, they needed a way to sustain a kind of meaningfulness, and the images, the pictures often became that."

Please Note: The final seconds of this show were cut off due to a technical error, we apologize for the abrupt end.

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