I'd like to show you guys an organiser which I call the "Flow Graphic Organiser", a helpful (according to my students, not just me!) and thorough tool for fleshing out ideas from the Story Mountain.
The Flow Graphic Organiser was inspired by the Adventure Worksheet from Mythic Role Playing, the first RPG to feature a game master emulator. I created the Flow Graphic Organiser with the intention of providing students with a robust but fast way of detailing events in their story.
A Look At The Flow Graphic Organise
Without further ado, this is what the organiser looks like:
It's a simple organiser that I use across the board with students when teaching them the fundamentals of writing. But what do we fill in for each component?
Main Theme/Point: This is a short phrase or sentence about the story's concept. It could be 'A story about cheating' or 'A day at the park'.
Character(s): This is where the main characters are listed down, but we can also include groups of characters, such as 'Tom's classmates'.
Place(s): This is a list of places where the story will take place across. Shorter, simpler stories can have one or two places; longer stories can have more.
Location/scene: I like to get students to draw out every scene of their story in the big box. Not all do though. For those who don't want to draw out their scenes, it will suffice to have them to put a big fat number in there to correspond with the order with which they take place.
On the line above location/scene, students write a short label on where the scene takes place. It could be 'at the supermarket', or 'outside of school'.
Points: Here, students will write the details of each scene, in point-form. It doesn't have to be long, and oftentimes students just end up having 3-4 points per scene.
To illustrate, it can be a few simple ideas like:
Changed out of uniform
Prepared for school
How This Relates To Actual Writing
If you haven't guessed it already, a scene is a paragraph. By plotting out the major details of each paragraph, students can have a clearer picture of the story. This adds to their organisational ability, which in turn makes it easier for them to focus on other aspects like vocabulary.
When introducing the Flow Graphic Organiser to students, it usually requires a lot of scaffolding before they get used to it, particularly for those who don't have a habit of planning their essays. However, this works wonders for students who: a) have so many ideas that they stumble over one another; b) fall short of things to write. Again, it is necessary to guide them on its usage, but when they do take to it, you'll start to see automaticity in their work.
I will be posting up an actual PDF of it later this week (either on Wednesday or Thursday) as part of S&S' [☕MRE] (Midweek Resources) schedule. If you find what's been explained here helpful and would like to stay posted on future updates (including the uploading of the Flow Graphic Organiser), do follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to PM or ask in the Comments below. Thanks for reading this and have a good week ahead.
P.S. And to all my fellow Chinese out there, have a happy Lunar New Year! ?