On this page are photos of the 3-D graphic organizers I made in the session I mentioned in one of the earlier posts. This one is for descriptive writing. IN the center is a photo of whatever is being described. On each color of paper is written a different category of adjectives. (Things seen, heard, felt, etc.) The students who had used it referred to it as a flower.
This one is for persuasive writing. The squiggly lines would actually be sentences written around the bottom of each piece of the pyramid. Here’s a late-breaking idea, developed while talking with a fellow teacher on the plane home from Seattle: In order to demonstrate the importance of transitions between paragraphs, you could poke a hole in the top of each pyramid. Thread a piece of cotton string through the whole thing, tying a knot at the inside of each pyramid and leaving several inches of string between them. They could still stack, but if you picked it up by the string, it would be a hanging thing. On each string separator you could attach a piece of paper with some sort of transition sentence example, so the student would remember to write one. I wonder if that makes any sense. If I actually try it, I’ll post a photo of what I mean.
This one is for teaching the research paper. Each little flap explains a portion of a research paper. It is not meant to actually structure the paper, as much as to teach how it goes, and what the important points are in structuring it. The idea is that the organizer is a tool the student takes on to other classes in the future.
This last one is for structuring a narrative. The important parts are on the outside, and on the inside the specifics of the narrative are written. From this the writer would go on to put together their story.
I would probably make each of these a little smaller, to use less paper. I think that for English Learners and young children (even older children, actually) they provide a physical manipulative which gives thinking time as well as guidance to structure. I might even have students illustrate them if there was time, as using the other side of the brain is important to developing ideas. It’s too bad we have so little time for this sort of thing in our assessment-driven educational arena today.
New Organizer, March 2009: Text Organization
We made these to sort out some different ways in which text is organized. We read the info text in McDougal Littel on the subject, and made these little books to keep track of the information.