After using my other planning page I created, I realized that it was a little difficult for my students to follow. They were able to complete it with lots of help, but I wanted something that was easy for them to remember and that they could do on their own.
I created a new planning page that is much simpler to use. And the best part is…I can use it with all genres of writing! Don’t you just love something versatile? I was tired of racking my brain, trying to figure out different ways for my kids to plan their expository and narrative writing. And then it hit me. Hey, let’s make it the same so that kids actually remember it!! Genius, I know.
The trial run was done with a good ol’ Sharpie and white paper. Once I knew my students would be successful with it, I put it into Word. (Also because I can never find my copy when I need it. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone I’m that unorganized!) Now I can ALWAYS find a copy when I need one! Magic!
Once my students get one filled out, I’ll post some pictures of them. Right now, they are writing them down inside of their Writer’s Notebooks. You see, THE test allows them 2 blank pages to plan. I
hate loathe the question, “Hey, what am I supposed to do on these blank pages?” Ever hear that? Makes. Me. Furious.
So…in preparation for that day, I’m having my students create this exact same planning page in their notebooks. We will plan out many more kernel essays than we actually develop, so I figured this is a good time to start getting them into the habit of drawing them. Then, once they pick a topic they want to write about, I will have them copy it onto the planning page and spice it up with some schesis onomaton, pitchforking, and sentence combining. 😉
Feel free to use this in your classroom, too. You won’t be disappointed. I know I say it all the time, but if you haven’t checked out Gretchen Bernabei’s resources, you are missing out! She has totally changed the way I teach writing–and the way my students understand writing! It’s not too late! Check her out–>www.trailofbreadcrumbs.net.
To download your own copy of the file, click here.