Right before the school year ended I had my students do some opinion writing. We write in our writer's notebooks every day. This past year we only published about once a month. The class I had this year needed lots of scaffolding and guided writing to get them going. Some of my kiddos had a very hard time with organization.
Once we made our list I got a new sheet of chart paper and drew three large boxes. I put my topic a the top of the paper and the students helped me come up with my three supporting details, which went in the boxes. Students used three sticky notes to put their supporting details on.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this method helped my students organize their thoughts. Overall their writing was much more organized and they stayed on topic. I am hopeful that using this method at the beginning of next year will help my kids be even better writers!