Luckily a game plan using the mnemonic WAIT came to me during writing instruction last week which touches on all of the essential elements students need to focus on to write a substantial essay. Additionally, I can joke with my class--- WAIT a sec?!? What do I need to do before writing? Make my WAIT prewriting plan of course!
What does WAIT stand for?
W = writing type (ex: informative or opinion essay)
A = about... (have students copy down the writing prompt / aka "what they're writing about")
I = Information I Must Include (if there are 3 articles, then there should be 3 bullets listing a 3 or 4 word title for how the student personally remembers each article)
T = Text Evidence / Examples (key details from the text that help support the topic and/or personal beliefs and examples from real life that help develop your opinion)
Since I teach at a Thinking Maps school, I modified a circle map to be sectioned into fourths to serve as our WAIT plan. The titles of the passages could go outside the circle as part of the "Frame of Reference." If you don't already use thinking maps, this is just a simple way to organize ideas!
A couple of months ago, Scholastic NEWS featured a DEBATE article about dogs being allowed into restaurants. I figured this would make a high-interest OPINION WRITING assignment. Grab the freebie writing prompt with sample WAIT writing plan and exemplar essay for use in your class!
WAIT!! If you like what you see, pick up my TEXT-BASED WRITING set to help prepare your 4th/5th grade students for on-demand informative and opinion essay writing assignments!