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Feature writing workshop


This is a two-day (or three-day) workshop for students to finish first drafts and gain feedback from peers. Students will write their first drafts, share them aloud and solicit constructive criticism from peers to aid with their revisions.


  • Students will critique their peers’ work.
  • Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of revision and what makes a strong feature to their own writing.
  • Students will complete their feature story after analyzing it based on the criteria in the feature rubric.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3 Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.5 Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10 here.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.


Two 50-minute periods


Student feature materials from previous lessons

Journalism feature rubric

Lesson step-by-step

1. Drafting time — 50 minutes
Provide students one 50-minute class period to write their first drafts of their feature stories. Finished drafts are due the next class period. Selected stories should be due prior to the next class so teacher can make copies to distribute to the entire class in advance.

2. Workshop — one or two 50-minute periods
Distribute copies of selected drafts, and have the authors read those aloud to the class. After reading, each author should discuss the following:

  • any obstacles he/she faced in writing the feature and how they handled those challenges
  • what they liked best about their story
  • what they like least about their story and still need to work on

3. Assignment — homework

Revise your feature and submit your final copy (should be due within two days).