Freebie Friday: 12 Sentence Paragraph Graphic Organizer

My boys despise writing.

In fact, you could say they loathe it. When we have writing assignments it’s like pulling teeth and at the end of the day we’re often in horrible moods and I’m questioning if we’ll homeschool next year. It’s that bad.

I know other families have their tough subjects and on days when those assignments come around all you can do is pray and make sure there’s a full pot of coffee. And a lot of chocolate. A LOT of chocolate. Well, this week we had a two writing assignments that resulted in kid meltdowns and a migraine for mom. Homeschooling is so much fun sometimes, isn’t it?

For one of the assignments, the objective was to write a paragraph recapping Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, Book 3) by J.K. Rowling. There was to be a topic sentence, three supporting sentences each with two detail sentences, and then a conclusion sentence. Twelve sentences in all. For a book that’s hundreds of pages, this should not be a big deal. But it was. It really was.


So, I created a graphic organizer to help him chunk his thoughts and get the details in order. I went with a format that he’d used previously and found helpful. The topic sentence is his green sentence. The supporting sentences are yellow, and then the detail sentences are red. The graphic organizer lays that all out and leaves plenty of room for sentences to be written in. Even though I let the kids type their final drafts, I think it’s important to write the rough drafts – at least some of the rough drafts during the year – by hand.

I’d love to be able to tell you that it’s a magic solution to writing frustrations, but, sadly it’s not. It does, however, make the organization of thoughts easier and there’s slightly less resistance to writing…sometimes. I make no promises to how it will work with your child, but it’s an awesome graphic organizer nonetheless.