Write from the Beginning – Pre-write Continues

April 13, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Posted in education, elementary, graphic organizers, inner city, teachers, third grade, writing | Leave a comment

We spend a lot of time on pre-writing. I find that my students can’t just start drafting right away coherently just after a quick brainstorm. So, after our Circle Map pre-writing activity, we sometimes go to the Tree Map. The Tree Map is a great scaffold for students to pick out main ideas that they will focus on. For this writing prompt, the main ideas are earning and saving money so my students all skipped the Tree Map.

After the Tree Map, we move to the Flow Map. During instruction, I model the Flow Map on the board on a really large chart which I keep for the following days. Then, the students work on their own Flow Map. I model one part at a time and let the students work on one part at a time at first because they need the extra scaffold.

Here is J’s Flow Map.

Flow Map 1

I’ll create another jpg that details what each of the parts are later. But notice how all planning for the writing is done in the Flow Map? The introduction, the conclusion, two main ideas with relevant details. This is a solid piece of writing under construction.

I have another student, A, who is categorized as basic or strategic. Her skills is not where J’s is, but she used the same Write from the Beginning Process.

As an additional scaffold during the creation of the Flow Map, we focus on what to write for the introduction paragraph, who, did what, when, where, and sometimes why. As a class, we create a chart and the students can pull information from this class chart when they write their introduction paragraph. I don’t ask the students to create their own chart.

A, during the writing exam, chose to create her own chart because she continues to need the extra scaffold. (This excites me because she’s aware of what she needs, very metacognitive of her!).

Opening Paragraph Pre-write

Here is her Flow Map. It is not as detailed as J.’s but all the important parts are there.

Flow Map 2

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