My 2 Favorite Books for Launching Writing Workshop (in a K-2 Classroom)

July 4, 2020

Writing workshop is hands down the subject I have studied and researched the most as an educator. I love the challenge of teaching our young, K-2 students to express themselves through writing end learn to enjoy it along the way!

I love it so much, I have an entire teaching membership dedicated to providing new, research-based tips, videos, and lessons all about WRITING! It’s called the SJT Writing Club and you can see more about that >>> here!

Today, I wanted to share two of my favorite books for launching writing workshop in a K-2 classroom. I use both these books (and these lessons) to emphasize to students that we are all writers.


Before I dive in, I shared this information in video format, in case you’d like to watch or listen to the information:

As the video above shares, my two favorite books for showing students that we all have ideas to write about are No, David by David Shannon and Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills. You can grab each of these below (amazon affiliate links):


No, David!

The first book I like to use is No, David by David Shannon! Many of your young students are likely familiar with this popular book, but I love to use it for writing workshop for a few reasons. First, David Shannon actually wrote this book when he was only 5 years old! When he was an adult, he found this book in his mom’s closet that he had written and decided to publish it for the world to read. I love sharing this with my students because many of them are 5, 6, and 7 years old themselves and they get to see that this famous author wrote this award-winning book when he was their age!

I also love it because the premise and words are relatively simple and similar to the books our young students will write themselves. When students can see that a book like No, David with an everyday premise they can relate to, became such a popular, well-loved book, it helps students easily imagine themselves as authors! It is such a fun and inspirational backstory to get students excited about writing workshop.

Rocket Writes a Story

The second book I love is Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills. In this book, Rocket, the dog loves to read stories and wants to write his own. He can’t think of anything to write about and feels like he doesn’t have any ideas! Many of your young students feel the same way. They feel like they don’t have anything to write about!

In the story, Rocket finds and collects all sorts of different words and realizes that he does have ideas and things to write about! I love to use this book along with a word collecting activity where students will actually look around the room and collect 4 different words to write a silly story about. Just like Rocket, they take their words and begin to write a simple or silly story.

The benefits of this activity are two-fold. First, you can get students to see through this no-pressure, just for fun, writing activity that they really can write about anything! And secondly, doing this type of writing activity in the first week or two of school allows you to assess your students’ basic writing skills. It allows you to get a quick grasp on where they are in terms of the mechanics, spelling, and basic writing structures!

You can actually grab all the free word cards and writing sheet to go with this activity here in my TPT store: FREE WRITING ACTIVITY.


Want to take your students from scribbles and sketches to writing published stories?!
I have a free 4-part video series you can watch here. Just click below to get the info!



Pin to remember:See two of my favorite books for launching writing workshop and how I use them in a K-2 classroom. Head on over to the blog post to grab a free writing activity to use with Rocket Writes a Story which will encourage your kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students to believe that they are all writers and start their writing journey at the beginning of the year!

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  • Hi Susan,
    I just watched your video above about Launching Writing Workshop using Rocket Learns to Write and No David! I am interested in further the learning more on how to teach writing to 1st graders.
    Thank you,

  • I like the way you explain what you do. It is easy to understand and it makes me feel like I may be able to do this after all!