It’s week two in my writing series! This week we will focus on prewriting planning. I like to remind my little learners that even authors of our favorite books do prewriting planning, and that it’s so important. Make sure to grab your anecdotal notes to keep track of your students’ progress!
Modeling Prewriting is Key
Before we even start our own stories, I grab some of my favorite read aloud as mentor texts. I love my mentor texts when teaching writing. And really, any great picture book can be used as a mentor text!
I use my mentor texts for just about anything with writing, but for my prewriting lessons I use them to model the story elements. Modeling is a must when teaching writing. Writing is such a new skill for young learners, and it can be quite intimidating. The more you model, the more comfortable your learners will be when it’s time to do it on their own.
Before we start a writing lesson, I create a prewriting chart for the front of the class. This chart can also be used when writing a story together as a class, but I like to use it with my mentor texts as well. Each time we do this activity, I review the story elements they are required to learn during the year. While reading some of our favorite books, we fill out the chart on characters, setting and plot.
It’s Writing Time!
Are you familiar with the gradual release model? I feel using this model leads to some very successful writing from my young learners. It also takes away the stress of writing for my hesitant writers.
The Gradual Release model, in a nutshell, is ‘I do, we do, you do’. I model until I feel like my learners are ready for the next step. Here, I’ll use my Prewriting map on chart paper. Modeling this step might take several times. It just depends on the group of learners you have.
While modeling, I review the story elements and why a good story includes these.
During the ‘we do’ phase, we work together as a class and brainstorm a story. This is a perfect time for all students to come together and throw ideas around.
After many rounds of modeling and working together as a class on brainstorming, I move to the ‘you do’ phase and let my students brainstorm their own story. I keep our brainstorming charts up around the room to help my hesitant writers.
You can grab my Prewriting map for FREE by clicking the download button at the bottom of this post!