“Craft” refers to not just what the writer says, but how it is said. Writers use many techniques to make their writing more powerful, clear, and effective.

Writer’s craft has been variously defined as style, polish, and eloquence. It involves the words the writer chooses, as well as the way those words are put together in phrases and sentences.  We want students to vary sentences, experiment with sound, and search for the “just right” rather than the “all right” combination of words.

Teaching students to craft their ideas effectively is one of the most rewarding parts of the Writing Workshop. Using interesting words, clever comparisons, figurative language, and varied sentences in writing is sort of like pinning a diamond brooch to a simple gown: it adds a little bling.” Marvelous Minilessons, page 103

Click on the links below for mini lessons on various elements of the writer’s craft.  You can find many more ideas in Lori’s book Marvelous Minilessons for Teaching Intermediate Writing, Grades 3-8.


The Very Short Sentence (VSS) is a 3-5 word sentence or sentence fragment that writers use to add energy or “punch” to a text.

The Magic of Three refers to putting words, phrases and sentences into grammatically parallel groups of three, to add rhythm and cadence to writing.

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