Hi friends! I wanted to stop by with a quick but helpful little freebie! Today, I was able to go back to my old school and pull several small groups! I mostly did guided reading groups, but a 2nd grade teacher asked me to work with her kiddos on organizing their writing. They are working on small moments, and her sweet writers are having a hard time coming up with a beginning, middle, and end.
To introduce the strategy, we reviewed the beginning, middle, and end. We discussed how good writers plan their stories and stretch them across pages. Ideally, these 2nd graders would be writing stories with several pages, complete sentences, and lots of details. These sweet babies just aren’t quite there yet, so I started where they are!
I explained that I had a tool they could use (their teacher kept them and will have them available in the future) to organize their story. I prompted them to think of a time they were scared, and then modeled. I QUICKLY sketched what happened in my store.
B-I was working at my computer on a Friday night. Tucker was laying beside me.
M-I started to feel my whole house shake. Tucker started barking, and we were both so scared!
E-I realized it was an earthquake, and it passed. I knew we would be okay, but I hope it didn’t happen again!
This is obviously NOT super detailed writing but the learning target was stretching and organizing the story into an obvious beginning, middle, end. 🙂
I had them each add their post-its and sketch their story.
Teaching them to sketch helps scaffold, especially for struggling writers or English Language Learners. One kiddo with me just recently got here from Nepal, so it was SUPER important he was able to tell his story with pictures first.
After they sketched, we stuck the post its on their writing pages. I think it’s very important that new writers use multiple pages to stretch their stories. I always, always, always give my kids booklets when they’re writing stories or books. Once they are strong at organizing and sequencing their stories, they are ready for single sheets and journals. 🙂
I’m so upset I totally forgot to get pictures of their actual writing! But sketching it beforehand did truly help! It also kept them from spending hours on their illustrations. I TOTALLY think that pictures help them process their ideas, but sometimes they will spend the entire writing time on coloring the picture because they don’t feel confident! This helped that. 🙂 After their book is finished, they can go back and draw their amazing illustrations!
You can grab this graphic organizer for free by clicking the image below. 🙂 I would recommend printing on colored cardstock and laminating for added durability! If you didn’t want to use post-its you could also just make lots of copies of the organizer and keep it with the other writing supplies. 🙂