Out of This World Literacy : 7 Ways to Prewrite
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7 Ways to Prewrite

Hello Friends!

Today I want to share with you 7 prewriting strategies we use to ensure everyone is a successful writer!!

Strategy 1: Making a List
***Students can make a list of lots of different things!  Some of our favorites are: 

a. What I Would Do With a Million Dollars
b. My Favorite... (foods, tv shows, movies, friends, etc)
c. Things I Want to Do Before I'm an Adult
d. My Dream Vacations
e. If I Had Unlimited Wishes I Would Wish For...

Strategy 2: Make a Web

Strategy 3: Sketching
***Sketching can be a great strategy for your artistic or reluctant writers to get ideas and details about a writing topic!  Remind students that a sketch is a quick drawing that is meant to develop ideas and details for a potential writing piece.  Kids LOVE sketching!!

Strategy 4: Make a List From a Topic on Your First List

***After students have a list, ask them to circle 3-4 items on the list that really stand out to them.  Tell them to think about the things they could write more details about.  After they have their few circled, have them write each topic on a clean page of paper.  Then they can make another list with even more details from each topic.  this is a great way to narrow down writing ideas!

Strategy 5: Branches

Strategy 6: Cartoon Strip
***My kids LOVE to write with cartoon strips.  It's a great combination of sketching and writing.  When I told my son he could write cartoon strips he went from being a reluctant writer to begging for more than 20 minutes of time to write!  They are a great way to encourage reluctant writers!!

My Son, Greyson Loving his cartoon 'stripe' prewriting time!!

Strategy 7: Timeline
***This is a great prewriting strategy for informational or nonfiction text writing.  It can work great for personal narrative, biographies, or memoirs as well!

The Mini Lesson

Step One: Have students copy the mini lesson into their writing notebooks

Step Two: As a class, brainstorm a list of ways writers can gather seeds during prewriting (your class may have other ideas than the 7 we thought of)

Step Three: Model a few of the strategies with your own prewriting notebook

Step Four: Invite students to share which strategy they will try during writing today.  Make sure every student quickly shares his/her plans for independent writing time.  This will ensure that they are all ready to write and you can hold them accountable at the end of the workshop.

Step Five: Give students time to write.  Walk around and conference individually with students who may need additional support.

Step Six: Gather back together as a class.  Have students share what they were working on with partners (ensuring that every student is involved and held accountable).  Have a few share with the class.

The lesson and prewriting strategies can be used all year long to produce great writing!!

I hope you all have a wonderful time writing with your students!!

If you need reading and writing units of study for your classroom, you can click here.

Best wishes,
Jen Bengel

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