Using Graphic Organizers for Prewriting

Instructor: Shannon Orr
In this lesson, you will learn why you should use a graphic organizer before you write. You will also learn why a graphic organizer is an important part of the writing process.

Graphic Organizers for Prewriting

Imagine that a student has just given you what he deems as his best writing ever! You begin reading and quickly realize the story is out of sequence, the student is jumping from one topic to the other and the writing has no consistent flow. After checking the next few essays, it is clear that your students have no idea the proper format for writing an essay. Is it time to find another job? No, it simple means your students need a lesson on how to organize their writing.

Before students ever write their first paragraph, they should first understand the importance of prewriting. Prewriting is generating and developing ideas about a topic. Some people also refer to prewriting as brainstorming. During this process, students will decide what they would like to talk about and write down as much information as they know or think they know about a particle topic. They can also research their topic and provide that information as well.

Teaching students how to prewrite using graphic organizers helps them organize their thoughts and ideas so that they can prepare for the writing process. Graphic organizers are models used to help students organize their thoughts.

How to Start

Teachers can explain how to use graphic organizers by comparing it to preparing a great sandwich. You don't just grab a bunch of things and throw it on a plate, there is an order, and there are questions to be asked and decisions to be made. What kind of bread? Mustard, mayonnaise, or salt? What's the main meat? Preparing to write a great essay requires the same level of preparation. Graphic organizers help them put their thoughts in order so that their essay has a great flow that keeps readers engaged from start to finish.

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