Writer's Workshop

Writing Organization

Lesson Plan




     Writing organization is the map or route that directs your reader along the journey you will be taking them on. It begins with a "Hook" or an idea that is so appealing the reader cannot resist becoming interested, stopping what they are doing and sitting down to read what you wrote! The details you add along the way are the wheels that carry the reader to the end of the journey. These details must add to the hook or you send your reader on a disappointing journey.

The details contain good transitions or stops where the reader can have a drink. Your details should fit together, moving the reader along logically, it is a smooth ride, not bumpy, the reader is piecing the clues you leave together, they are guessing as to where the journey will end. Be careful, readers like the surprise end to the journey, otherwise they are disappointed! Organization gives your writing purpose and structure. The journey is not haphazard for the reader!





     Pick a paragraph from any novel. Cut it into sentence strips and have students reorganize the paragraph. Give them the original and have them compare the two. Make sure you add some sentences that are not in the original.

Use a teaching planner for students and get them to write paragraphs using it.

The planner could look like:

A) Topic sentence- a thought about what you are writing about.

          B) Detail 1- add one fact to support the thought.

          C) Detail 2- add an example to support the fact.

           D) Detail 3- add an opinion with another fact.

           E) Concluding sentence- Tie it all together.

Metaphor for explaining how to write a paragraph. A good paragraph is a wonderful present. The main idea of the paragraph is the gift inside the package. The details are the colorful wrapping paper that makes it inviting to open. More details are contained on the gift card, and the bow shows the caring attitude of the giver. The concluding sentence of the paragraph is the ribbon which ties the package together.


Activity: Ten Minutes Only.
Ask students to draft a story by completing a story pyramid- that takes place within a short time frame, ten minutes maximum. Keep an eye on the clock and, every two minutes, tell students to move on to a new event. This activity gives them practice using transitional words and also helps them move their pieces along in segments, developing the action with an eye toward pacing.

Give a transition word strategy lesson to help students writing organization go along smoothly. Words like: next, secondly, in the first place, along the same lines, as a result, because of... all organize the writing and promote authority in writing.

Have students use a plot line strategy sheet. They use the novel they are working with and fill in the organizer. They must use it to depict the parts of their novel that reveals the exposition, rising action, turning point, climax, and falling action.

Have students look at good examples of writing and circle the signal words. With a partner, students can write a short response to an opinion question they both pose using at least three of the words identified in the activity.


Use story_planning_charts as scaffolds to plot lines. Students use them to plan their own story and organize their thoughts about writing.