When we unpack prompts, we circle the audience, underline the topic, and box in key words.
An example of a 3rd grade prompt might be:
DESCRIBE the TRAITS of a your favorite book character to your best friend. Be sure to include details that support WHY it is your favorite character, what things they DO and SAY to support a unified description.
After reading the prompt, they must restate them on three lines below.
Topic: Describe the character of your favorite book
Audience: Your best friend
Key Words: DESCRIBE TRAITS WHY DO SAY
From here, they make a CIRCLE MAP for a brainstorm of their topic.
After that, they take the brainstorm and sort it into a tree map, which is a plan for the beginning, middle, and end of their story.
The tree map is used as a check list that keeps the writer on task in a sequential manner.
Our kids are writing stronger than ever now. We have used this sort of process at all grade levels, district wide and have made leaps and bounds in achieving great writing!
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