How do I do it?
Students often choose topics that are too big and end up being somewhat rambling or a essentially a timeline of events. To support students in narrowing an idea to an engaging writing topic, have students place their big topic into a pie or pizza etc. and label the slices with the parts of their topic. Next, ask students to choose the slice that represents: What was special to me? Finally, of that slice, have students identify what made it special and then they have their topic that they can write about in detail. In the example above, “My Vacation” is the topic. Each slice is one of the memorable activities like swimming and going to bed late. When going to bed late, the child read to their 2 year-old cousin which he identified as the most special part of the vacation.
Variations & Extensions
Students can keep a few blank pizza charts in their writing notebook so that they can be reminded to “slice the slice” when their topic feels too big or hard to write about. Download the worksheet here or make your own.
Common Core ELA Writing Standard 4&5
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
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