Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Order My Steps

Patricia Harris
Gadsden County Schools


Do your students have two left hands when writing? Are they unorganized, confused, and frustrated? Have no fear. Order is here! This lesson will offer your students with a simple and easy way to group related ideas for their writing assignments.


The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping ideas, grouping related ideas, keeping a notebook of ideas, observing surroundings, answering questions posed by others).


-Venn diagram (class set)
-Two other graphic organizers of your choice (class set)
-A recipe (class set)
-Generated list of topics, for example: (class set)
-Generated list of ideas that are both related and unrelated (class set)
There are many stars in the sky.
Friends come in many colors.
Boys and girls know how to cook for their parents.
From elementary school to high school, friends are important.
It is good to be nice to other people.
Parents are friends.
-Sample copy of the type of notebook or journal for recordings of sights, sounds, people, etc. (Examples: Spiral tablet, folder with several sheets of notebook paper, writing journal)
-Students must purchase their own writing journal
-Index cards, markers, stickers, and any other materials desired to create an original game
-Give students a list of needed supplies to complete assignment


1. Collect the graphic organizers that you will use with the lesson.
2. Familiarize yourself with the use of each.
3. Prepare a list of possible topics for students to generate ideas.
4. Prepare a list of possible ideas that students can group related ideas.
5. Select at least three different recipes.
6. Run enough copies of all materials for students.
7. Obtain permission from the administration for tour of the school grounds during class time.
8. Supply students with a list of materials needed for recording ideas and thoughts (notebook or journal) and materials for the game that they will create (index cards, markers, stickers, etc.)


1. Introduce at least three graphic organizers and their use. (For example: the Venn diagram, event map, concept map, clusters, etc.)

2. Model the use of each of the three graphic organizers.

3. Provide students with a copy of the graphic organizers discussed.

4. Put a list of ingredients for a recipe on the board and ask students to eliminate items that do not belong.

5. Discuss the reasoning behind the chosen eliminations.

6. Demonstrate brainstorming by assigning a topic and allowing the class to throw out ideas that don't relate.

7. Record their ideas on the board.

8. Ask students for rationale for their response.

9. Provide explanation for correct and incorrect responses.

10. Give students a list of related and unrelated ideas on a topic and have them to group related ideas by using a graphic organizer.

11. Ask students to provide reasons for placing ideas in the category they chose.

12. Divide students into groups and give each group the same topic and a different graphic organizer to use.

13. Students will work in groups to practice the use of their assigned graphic organizers and to generate ideas for their topic.

14. Students will group related thoughts.

15. Students will share their results with the class.

16. Ask students if they know of other ways to organize their thoughts.

17. Let them share their ideas with the class.

18. Take students on a tour outside of the classroom to observe their surroundings and to record events, sounds, and sights.

19. Pair students and allow them to use the Venn diagram to examine the similarities and differences in what was observed on the tour.

20. Compile studentsí notes for use with a Venn diagram.

21. Use these compiled notes for a visual presentation on the overhead so that the entire class will be able to see the compilation of your Venn diagram operation.

22. Students will keep a notebook of ideas (sights, sounds, people) for a period of two days at home and at school.

23. Students will use ideas generated over the two-day period to write a story that tells what went through their minds over that period of time. (Stories can be fiction or non-fiction. It may contain illustrations. The story is open to the students' creativity.) Here are suggested titles:
...And then I saw
I often wondered.....
So that's how that is done!
Now what?

24. Groups will create a game, Mix and Match, that teaches how to group related topics. Students will use index cards with Sights, Sounds, People.
They will write on other index cards the sounds heard, things observed, people, and/or sentences that are associated with the three main headings. The key element of the game is similar to Pick-a-Pair. Turn up a card and try to turn up one with a similar relation. Groups can share, switch up, because all of the students will have collected sights, sounds,and people.


1. Students will brainstorm ideas for a writing assignment.
2. Students will use a variety of graphic organizers to record ideas for writing.
3. Students will keep a journal of ideas generated from various situations.
4. Students will identify reasons for their writings
5. Students will compose writing from ideas generated.

1. Students will demonstrate the use of at least two graphic organizers.
2. Students will generate ideas from brainstorming.
3. Students will observe their surroundings and record ideas.
4. Students will respond to questions about their thoughts.

Web Links

Web supplement for Order My Steps

Attached Files

3 sample graphic organizers.     File Extension: pdf

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