Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A major problem in writing is the organization of ideas. Ideas should progress logically through the writing. Typically, the progression is chronological, that is, from first to last, but this is not a hard and fast rule. In writing, one can reverse time or create flashbacks. Moreover, the organization of ideas can be tackled by way of importance, from least to most important. The important point is that the ideas which form your sentences should have a logical sequence. Students are probably familiar with this technique in television and movies. Ask them for their own examples of organization and examples of where this organization has been used or where it would be useful.

Here is a great way to teach organization - write a series of related sentences and then cut the sentences into individual strips. Use multiple copies of the sentences and form groups of students. Groups help facilitate discussion and fun. Then, have each group organize the sentences into a composition and compare.

See where this has been done. See the examples on hands on and modeling.

A second method is to brainstorm. Start with a topic sentence, not too broad and not too narrow. The idea is to allow students to create sentences which support the topic. Students should be permitted to range far and wide so as to stimulate creativity. It is best to use a blackboard for this activity. Once the ideas supporting the topic have been written down have the students organize them into a composition.

If you can remember taking the SAT's or if you have studied a foreign language, you may remember coming across examples where you are asked to organize ideas chronologically or by relevance. The learning tool is the same as the above examples. These activities allow students to work together in a competitive environment. It is stress free and fun.

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