Saturday, March 3, 2012

Graphic Organizer to Paragraph

As my Slice of Life today, I am going to share what we have been working on it writing.
Note:  To visit the other slicers, click the Slice of Life image above.

This week has been a big week for my first graders.  We have been working on using the 4-square graphic organizer (we call it 5-square in my school) to help organize our writing.  We have been working on it for weeks!  This is the week we have now started to take it to the next level by actually writing the paragraph that matches our graphic organizer.  I wanted to take this process slowly, step-by-step.

Step One:  Model, Model, Model
It doesn't matter what grade I teach, I am always impressed by the power of modeling.  I modeled how to turn the information in the graphic organizer into sentences to write the paragraph.

Step Two:  Guided Practice
In the next lesson, the students and I worked together to start our paragraph.  We used a graphic organizer that we had previously completed together.  We only focused on the topic box and the first detail box.  Next time we meet we will complete the rest of paragraph.

Step Three:  Group Practice
Before taking the plunge and having the students write their own paragraphs, I wanted to give them more practice by working together in groups.  Each group was given a different completed graphic organizer (each one had been completed during guided practice earlier in the unit).  They were also given a half-sheet of chart paper and a marker.  The groups had to write the beginning of the paragraph that would match their graphic organizer.  Here is what they did:

Are these the best sentences ever?  No.  Could they use some style?  Yes.  Am I happy with the product?  Yes!  Our goal has been to make sure that the details they use in their writing match the topic.  The next steps are to finish this draft, revise, edit, and write a final published copy.  The published pieces are going to be displayed in the hallway.  All we are working on is content and I am pleased with our beginnings.

The students were so excited during this lesson.  They loved writing in groups!  One group finished quickly and asked for another graphic organizer.  They wanted to keep writing!  I left school on Friday with a smile on my face thinking about how excited they were to write.


  1. I love that last line: they were excited to write! Good for you and your students.

  2. As long as they are excited they will want to write more and it will only get better. Great job!

    Mrs Poland
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  3. Hey I just awarded you the Lovely Blog Award!!! Come on over to my blog to receive it!
    See you soon! Andrea

  4. Thanks for sharing your modeling. I think that 1st graders writing like that is awesome! Thanks for the pictures to show their work together.

  5. Do you have a blank 5 square organizer that you could email to me??? I printed the freebie from TPT, but there was no blank 5 square.

  6. Kim - If you will leave your email address, I will send a blank 5 square.


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