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How to Generate an Idea List as a Prewriting Strategy


Language Arts  


K, 1, 2  

Title – Generating Ideas for Writing
By – Amy Bolin
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – K-2
Writer’s Workshop


Generate ideas for prewriting techniques

South Carolina ELA standards indicator:

2-4.1 Generate ideas for writing by using strategies such as lists, discussions, and literary models.

Learning Goal/Objective:

The student will learn how to make a list of ideas for writing.


  • Cynthis Rylant’s book Relatives Are Coming!
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Paper for students to use in creating their list
  • Pencils for students to use

Anticipatory Set:

“Have you ever been asked to write whatever you wanted to write but could not think about anything to write about? This has happened to me. When I write, I enjoy being able to freely write about a topic of my choice. However, sometimes I have trouble thinking of an idea. What can I do to help me remember ideas?”


  • Introducing Using Our Experiences for Writing Ideas (10 Minutes, Whole Group)
    • The learning goal is introduced and read with the teacher. The teacher will explain how we can use our own experiences in life to help us get ideas for writing (schema).
    • We will read Cynthia Rylant’s book Relatives Are Coming! to get ideas about family, traveling, etc.
    • We will discuss the book and create a web chart of how we might come up with ideas to write about Examples – use our brain/think, from others, and from our experiences/schema…
    • These examples will lead to the next conversation for creating a chart of a class list of ideas.
  • Class Ideas Chart (10 minutes, Whole Group)
    • The teacher will model by asking students “what kinds of stories might you be able to share with us? Let’s create a list of ideas of our experiences that we could write about.”
    • The teacher will give two examples and then list student examples with their names beside it.
  • Student Ideas (10 minutes)
    • Distribute paper (this can be a special piece of paper if you want to be very creative) for students to list their ideas.
    • Students will create a list of ideas to put in their writing journals. They will use it later to create their own writing pieces.
    • The teacher will monitor and assist as needed; the teacher will observe and take notes on how students are progressing with their work.

E-Mail Amy Bolin !

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