So the writer's workshop went well. About twenty children turned up which was a good number to work with. I used characterisation as a focus which is a fun way of getting children to talk to each other and stimulates their thinking.
I just have a box of bits and pieces i.e. scarf, glasses, travel brochure, candle, an orange etc. You need around fifty items to share between groups of four children. I give a mix of 'artifacts' to each group and a large piece of paper with marker pens. Then I get them to talk about who the character could be, based on the artifacts they have. After a quick chat they draw out the character and make notes around the figure. Finally they present their characters to each other. Great fun! In longer sessions I ask the children to come up with a story summary using two or three of the characters. It certainly seems to inspire story writing which is why I like doing it!