Organizing Writing

This year my students are having a VERY hard time organizing their writing.  Most students are familiar with story structure when writing a fiction or realistic fiction story.  However, when students write to persuade or inform, they have no idea how to organize their writing.  Often it turns into a long and boring list of facts.
We are using the “stoplight” writing method that will hopefully transform into multi-paragraph essays later. We will see.

I made this poster for students to see.  Then I have modeled writing paragraphs using a green marker, orange marker (yellow is too hard to see), and then ended with a red marker.  As I wrote the paragraph, I thought aloud crafting a hook and including appropriate transitions.

Next I will give students this paper with the stop lights as a reminder to include all the parts.  I can’t decide if I will print the paper on the color printer (most likely not- too expensive).  I will probably have the students color in the stoplights with marker to show what part of the paragraph they are writing.  Does that make sense?
If it works (fingers crossed), I will post some student work samples!


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6 comments

  1. I love this stoplight paper idea!


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    Michelle
    Teach123

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  2. I love your stoplight paper! We use the OREO in my class. We start with our Opinion, the tell a Reason with a/a few supporting Examples, and then finish our writing with our restated Opinion. I tell my kiddos that since we are 3rd graders we make our OREOs triple stuffed. I think I have a copy of the planning paper we use at school if you would like to see it (although it sounds like you have something AWESOME!) When we published we made tri-fold brochures. The kids really loved it. My spring break project is to upload some examples on either my website or blog (fingers crossed).

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  3. Great idea! Would love to try it.

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  4. I love the stop light idea! I just awarded you 2 blog awards. Stop by and check it out! http://lessonplansandlattes.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-job.html

    -Becky
    Lesson plans & Lattes

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  5. Wonderful idea! Can't wait to try it with my son. :)

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  6. This idea is great! I may use it with a kido i tutor who has a difficult time writing! Thanks for sharing!

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