Teachers today have so much to accomplish, so much material to cover in just 180 days. Since every minute counts, it may seem like a waste of time to add another step to the student writing process. But it makes a difference.
As you’ll discover in Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep, when writers pause and ponder before they start writing, they’re able to take ownership of the material and formulate a plan. This kind of preparation builds enthusiasm, and in many cases, it makes drafting go more smoothly. It may also reduce the amount of time students spend revising.
To try this technique on your classroom, begin by asking students to read through their notes and circle facts and ideas that seem interesting and important. Then encourage them to use one of these thought prompts or simply have them make a list of the information they circled.
After sharing excerpts from several of the mentor essays included Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep, ask students to think about the information using their head (their brain) and in their heart (their feelings). Then invite them to spend a few minutes free writing and sketching. This gives young writers time and space to digest the information, view it through their own lens, and make their own meaning.
encourage students to create an infographic that includes what they really want
other people to know about their topic and why that aspect of the topic is
important to them. The infographic could also show the order in which they plan
to present the information, but it doesn’t have to.
When students take the time to represent key parts of their research as infographics during the prewriting process, they'll find their own special way of conveying the information. Instead of being tempted to plagiarize, they'll create prose that's 100 percent their own.