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Pre-Writing: Planning and Organizing

4th Grade

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): 4.11.A*

plan a first draft by selecting a genre for a particular topic, purpose, and audience using a range of strategies such as brainstorming, freewriting, and mapping;

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): 4.13.A*

generate and clarify questions on a topic for formal and informal inquiry;

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): 4.13.H*

use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.

Florida - Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking: ELA.4.C.1.5

Improve writing by planning, revising, and editing, with guidance and support from adults and feedback from peers.

4th Grade Writing - Pre-Writing: Planning and Organizing Lesson


Asking Questions

Different types of writing call for different questions.

photo of four dyed Easter eggs
Spring is a special time of year. Buds start sprouting. The weather gets warmer. Flowers start to bloom. People celebrate spring in different ways.

Write an essay about a way that you and your family celebrate in springtime.

Type of Writing: Informational Essay

Possible Questions
  1. What do my family and I celebrate in the spring?    

  2. How do we celebrate?

  3. Do we eat certain foods during this celebration?

drawing of a pig flying
The phrase "when pigs fly" means never. Pigs can’t fly, right? Or can they? If pigs could fly, what else might be possible?

Write a story about a pig who could fly.

Possible Questions
  1. Besides the pig, who are the characters in my story?

  2. Where and when does the story take place?

  3. What events happen at the beginning, middle, and end of my story?    

When planning to write, ask yourself how your work should be presented.

The first writing prompt above asks you to write an essay. The second writing prompt asks you to write a story. Your final work for each prompt should be in writing only.

listening ear
Alliteration is a sound device. It occurs when words next to each other begin with the same consonant sound, as in “Bobby Benson buys butter.”
Choose a consonant sound. Write a two-line poem about school. Use alliteration with the same consonant sound in each line. Memorize your poem, and recite it to the class during your assigned time slot.

Type of Writing: Poem

How should the poem for this prompt be presented?

green snake
Snakes are a type of reptile. Choose a specific kind of snake, and find out all about it.
Write a report about your snake, and turn it in by the due date. Also, present what you have learned to the class during your assigned time slot. In your presentation, tell the class about your snake, and include at least one picture of the snake.

Possible Questions
  1. Where does my chosen snake live?    

  2. What does my snake eat?

  3. What does my snake look like?

  4. Is my chosen snake venomous?

How should my work be presented?

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Go to the next page to practice planning writing by asking and answering questions.

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