Organization is just the way it sounds, organizing a paper so it is easy for the reader to follow.  The trait of organization is the hardest for students to master.  They have trouble seeing the big picture in their writing.  Often times making students aware of methods or shortcuts to good organization is key. 







Organization Picture Books


A Chair for My Mother  by Vera B. Williams

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  by Judith Viorst

Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair  by Patricia Polacco

Cometís Nine Lives  by Jan Brett

Donít Wake Up Mama  by Eileen Christelow

On Christmas Eve  by Margaret Wise Brown

The Legend of the Blue Bonnet  by Tomie DePaola

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick  by Chris Van Allsburg

The Paperboy  Dav Pilkey

Trouble on the T-Ball Team  by Eve Bunting

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  • Once a topic is chosen use a variety of graphic organizers to help students clarify and organize their thoughts.
  • Read one of the organization picture books aloud to the class.  Stop periodically and ask students: "Why do you think the author began the book this way?"  "Where do you think the author will take us next?"  "How will the book end?"  After the book is finished break the students up into groups and have them create a story board mapping out the organization of the book.  Once each group is finished have them present their story board.
  • Use five or six sequence cards with pictures.  Place them out of order and ask for a volunteer to try to tell the story of the cards without changing the order.  Discuss the difficulty of the task and how it pertains to writing.  Put the cards in the correct order and have the students write their own version of the story.
  • Read the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  by Judith Viorst.  Discuss the book in terms of organization.  (why did she organize the book the way she did?, why is organization important to this book?, would you change the organization of the book?) Map out the book organization on the board or using a technological graphic organizer.  Use the organization of the book to create a book all their own.  Have student brainstorm a time when they had an Awesome, Fabulous, Just Fine, Very Good Day and write and illustrate a book accordingly.
  • Use some of the organizational trade books or other books from your library with good beginnings.  Read the beginnings to the class.  Have them discuss the attributes of a good beginning versus a poor beginning. Define a good story beginning.  (the same can be done for endings/conclusions)  Have the students choose one of the beginnings and finish writing the story from there.

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