Strategies for Teaching the 6 Traits

Strategies for Organization

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Anna Liu

  • Pick a paragraph from a story, novel.
  • Cut it into sentence strips and have children reorganize it into the original paragraph.
  • To make it more challenging, the teacher can add some sentences that were not originally there so that students will have to think more about the paragraph they are putting together.

Deb Weissman

I use a lot of graphic organizers with kids.

  • For teaching the basic paragraph we use this planner:
    • Topic Sentence; (what are you writing about?)
    • Detail 1
    • Detail 2
    • Detail 3
    • Concluding Sentence (tie it all together)
  • Use the idea of a birthday present. The main idea is the gift inside the box. The details are the wrapping paper, the gift card, and the bow. The concluding sentence is the ribbon which ties the package together.
  • For stories, use story maps or scaffolds and once plot lines are introduced, students use them to plan their own stories.
  • Work with plot lines in reading classes. Once students have worked with a few in class, they are assigned to create their own plot line for 2 different books they've read. They need to create an illustrated plot line which depicts these parts of the book:
    • Exposition: Setting, Character, Problem or Conflict.
    • Rising Action: 3 or more events which lead to the climax or turning point.
    • Climax or turning point: the event which causes the character to make a crucial decision which affects the ending or the event which creates the ending.
    • Falling Action: 1 or more event which leads to the end
    • Resolution: how the problem or conflict is settled.
  • So an organization words lesson when working on persuasive writing: First, Secondly, Next, as a result, therefore, because of, due to, also, finally, etc.
  • Look at good examples of writing and circle the signal words. With a partner, students write a short response to an opinion question using at least 3 of the words identified in discussion.
  • The idea development strategy I shared earlier where kids highlight the details of their main idea is a way for them to check organization.

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