Saturday, December 3, 2011

4 Square Freebie

I was shown the 4 Square Method to paragraph writing a few years ago. I believe it was developed by Judith and Evan Gould.

The only problem I had with the way I was introduced to it was that there were a ton of steps to the process and my second graders lost their "momentum" for this strategy after a few steps.

I still loved the idea but I decided to shorten the process a bit so my students only had three steps to complete.

Day 1:  The first step to the method is identifying their topic.  Then they draw and label the supporting details.

This week's topic:  My Favorite Holiday(which lends itself to soooo many).
Click on the picture for a copy.

Day 2:  Step 2 involves taking their labels and creating a sentence for each. I tell the children that if they would like to add another sentence in each box to support that particular detail, they can.
Click on the picture for a copy.
Day 3:  Step 3 is when they take their 5 sentences and copy it as a paragraph.
Click on the picture for a copy.
After the paragraph is copied, we sit down and practice editing it together.  I had them copy it onto nice paper so we could display them in the hallway.   They did such a wonderful job with their first paragraphs!
As they become comfortable with the process, I take away Step 3 and they edit their work during Step 2 before copying it onto nice paper.

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