Chapter 4- Showcasing the Message with Organization

Strategies for Teaching Organization:

1. Model the Writing of a Lead

Choose one topic and demonstrate how many different starting paragraphs you can have. Have students chose a topic then create two or three examples of different leads that focus on the same topic. Allow students time to practice this skill in which they will hopefully use in their later writing on their own.

2. List “Tired“ Leads to Avoid

Create a list with your class of leads that are used to often by writers that have become un-engaging. Have students compare more interesting leading contrast in order to demonstrate how they wouldn`t want to use the tired leads in their own writing.

3. Get Specific About How to Begin

Create a list to share with your students of effective engaging ways to begin a piece of writing. Students will not have an extensive list of how to start any writing. Some ways are: an anecdote, startling fact, dialogue, striking image, action, quotation or a promise to the readers.

4. Write Badly On Purpose

Give students examples of good leads and have your students recreate the example poorly. Having students write poorly is an effective way for students to have to think of what not to do and may be a rather fun activity.

5. “Envision“ Writing by Exploring Genre

Envisions is picturing or imagining the outcome of the writing. Have students practice this strategy before writing a first draft of a piece. There are hundreds of genres of writing that students don’t realise exist that they could practice writing in. Have students explore new genres and create pieces of writing for each.

6. Describe a Few Design Possibilities

For each type of writing genre the organization for that piece of writing will vary. In order for students to understand the different types of organizational layouts that can enhance a piece of writing it is important to show several different examples. Bring cook books to show how recipes are laid out, newspaper s to show the style of an article, rules from a board game etc..

7. Order the Details

In order for a piece of writing to flow well, it needs good transitions. Use good books to demonstrate the variety of transitions that students can use in their writing to enhance the flow and increases the readers. A fun activity to do with students would be to give them a passage that uses transitions well. Have the sentences cut up into separate pieces then have the students try and order the story back together. If the transitions are used properly then the story should be able to be re-created easily. have students then try and do this with their own writing and test it on a partner in the class.

8. Talk Before You Write

Speaking out loud helps a writer to visualize the order that the story is told. Have students practice the following exercise, students will recall a funny or exciting story and share it out loud with a partner. Record the story on paper as it was told. Students should retell  through the story and write on in point form the events story. Together should will revise the point form version of the story. Parts should be cut, re-ordered and added details.

9. Play With Time

Students rarely jump forward or back in time within their stories. But it could be a great effect they can explore. There is an opportunity to show examples of time delays in film for example SpongeBob Square Pants. engages students and could be a useful hook for a lesson in the future. Students can explore writing lapses in their writing to engage their readers.

10. Use Questions to Create a Middle

The middle of a story is the most complicated part to learn how to properly write. The textbook discusses that the middle of the story is where questions about the topic are answered. So while in the preparation phase of writing a story, students should compile a list of the questions that they are going to address in the following piece of writing. The list of questions can then be revised and re-ordered to adhere to the flow of the story as well as notice parts of the story that will need additional information.

11. Explore Transitions

Have students read through passages to compile a list of useful transition words they would be able to use in their own writing. This is also a keep list to keep for students to refer to for future writing pieces.

12. Practice Writing Killer Endings

Read a short novel or story but leave out the ending. This will demonstrate to students how important the endings are for the readers. Have students practice writing short yet engaging finishing sentences that leave the readers wanting more from you.



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