Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Prewriting Strategy That Works for Upper Elementary

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started! Picture this: You're in your classroom, teaching your students how to brainstorm ideas for a personal
narrative.

You've made the heart map to help them with prewriting, you've got a list of ideas in their notebooks, and you've modeled how to choose one.

You think they're ready to go, so you set them loose.

And then you hear the grumbling.
 
"I don't know what to write about."
"I don't have any ideas."
"I never do anything."

How often do you hear those comments from your students? Probably, like, at least once a week, and possibly once a day.
 
Why is this so hard for kids? They have a LIST for goodness' sake! We made a heart map! But hold on! Here's the problem: that list - that map - has topics on it, right? Topics like, "birthdays" or "pets".
 
So let's try it. If I'm going to write about "pets", here's what it sounds like:
 "People have different kinds of pets. I have a pet, too. My pet is named Lucy. She is a black dog. She's funny and nice. She likes to eat dog treats and take walks. She's my best friend."

Aw. That's nice. It's a list of details about Lucy. But is it a personal narrative? Oh, no, it is not.

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started! When kids only have topics to choose from, they have trouble thinking of specific memories or times something happened to write about. And that's exactly what a personal narrative is: a memory.

So how do we get kids to generate ideas for writing personal narratives without the complaints?

Here's how.

In this video, I teach a really simple strategy to use with students that helps them think of ideas for writing, every single time.

Don't believe me? Try it along with me in the video! All you'll need is a piece of paper, a pencil, and your brain!
 
It's called "Mapping a Special Place," and it's such a fun and easy strategy to use to teach kids how to prewrite by digging into their memories in a simple way that anybody can participate in. Watch this short video and let me know what you think!

This strategy is Writing Intervention Strategy Lesson #4 from my Narrative Writing Intervention Toolkit! Check it out on TpT and make planning for writing a snap!



Ready for more?

This is even better than an anchor chart. Help your kids brainstorm ideas during prewriting with this easy to use (and fun) activity! It's a strategy that works every time for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, and it will help your kids generate ideas for their personal narratives so they can move forward in the writing process! Get kids unstuck with this strategy! A how-to video helps get you started!

Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
  •  

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