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Writing: Organization

Structure -- Strong As a Castle


Today's Snack: Graham crackers and a container of prepared frosting can come together as a mini "castle" you'll enjoy eating! Use the frosting as "mortar," and break the graham crackers into fourths to use as blocks or bricks. Unlike other buildings, you should destroy this on purpose - by breaking it apart and eating it! A glass of cold milk will go well with your "castle" treat.




Gather building blocks from homes, preschools,

garage sales, etc. and build the biggest castle that you can



How long would a building stand up if it didn't have any structure?


Immediately. Without structure, you have nothing.


A tree trunk is the structure that supports all the branches and leaves. The human body would be a pile of goo without the structure provided by the bones in our skeletons. Tall buildings have steel frames, welded together for strength, in order to hold up the walls, floors, ceilings, furniture and, of course, people!


When it comes to writing, the way that you organize your thoughts and bring them to life as written words is called your "organization." It is your structure.


When you start on a piece of writing, it helps to start from thin air. Literally daydream the three main parts of any writing: beginning, middle and end. Brainstorm what your paper will physically look like when you are done.


Will it be one paragraph? Or five?


Will it take up one whole page? Or 10?


Will you include a drawing, photo or chart, or will there just be text?


What key questions do you need to answer?


What is your audience, and what will your audience need to know?



Whether it's a story, a book report, a poem, a research paper or a personal narrative, once you have imagined how your writing assignment should end up, it's easier to get it started, and stay on track 'til it's done.


Organizing a piece of writing is a lot like planning a building. You start with a plan . . . finish the structure, or foundation, first . . . move on to the main points, like towers and roofs . . . add details like windows, doors and turrets . . . and when it's done, you can step back and see how it "came to life" out of your imagination - something from nothing.


Now build a castle with toy blocks! If you're in a big group, divide up the tasks, work together on a plan, set a goal, and then have fun "organizing" your castle. Will it be as elaborate as this one?







By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2010




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