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Writing: Organization

Graphic Organizer: Build a Pyramid


Today's Snack: Cut off the top of a whole carrot. See how it has a point, and then comes down to a flat bottom? It's the shape of a pyramid! Eat it, and then eat the rest of the carrot. Then wash it down with a cylinder - a glass - of milk. That's two geometric shapes in one snack - the pyramid, and the cylinder!




Piece of blank scratch paper | scissors | pen or pencil



Readers get confused and unhappy when a piece of writing doesn't have a good organization that clearly leads them from the start to the finish.


Think of your writing as being like an invitation to a party.


When you first see it, you get excited to be invited - that's the beginning.


The time, date and place of the party, the theme, and what you're going to do at the party, are usually listed on the invitation, giving you the facts you need to know about the party - that's the middle.


Then, after the party, that's the end. You can look back to the beginning and see how the middle got you to the end. You can review everything that happened at the party: how it felt to be there, what you had to eat, what games you played. You sum up your feelings or what you learned. You feel happy and satisfied.


Now, just as a good piece of writing is like a party, a good piece of writing is also like a pyramid. Think of the top of a pyramid as the beginning of the writing, and the bottom of the pyramid as the end of the writing.


At the beginning, like at the top of a pyramid, there's not much there. With writing, in the beginning you have just a little information, to get the story started. With a pyramid, all you see is the point and the very top.


The middle of the pyramid is where the pyramid really takes shape, just as the middle of a piece of writing is where all the facts, ideas, opinions and information come together to give the reader what the piece of writing is about.


Then, the bottom of the pyramid has to "hold" the weight of the beginning and the middle - it kind of sums everything up and all the information in the story comes to rest on the "bottom," or the ending. In the same way, the end of a piece of writing shows the reader how the beginning and the middle come together in the end, and make sense.


Let's talk a little more about the three key parts of a piece of writing:


Beginning: get the reader's attention and introduce the topic.


Middle: details that make it interesting and informative.


End: summary of the important points that makes the reader think


By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2012

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