Writing “proofs” isn’t just for high school geometry class. Often, students have to support their opinions, their arguments, and their positions after learning and/or reading something. To help kids remember their purpose for writing, I have relied on the Prove It! for years. I’ve used it with kids in grades 7-11, from Honors to learning support. I’ve also used it when writing some of my own graduate work. The Prove It! works with single paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays, and kids can add as many supporting boxes as needed. (We often tried to steer clear of a set number of supporting boxes because kids think there is a “magic number” of sentences per paragraph if we always use the same number. We stressed supporting their thoughts more than a set number.) The arrows provide a visual for students who need a reminder that their support and explanation should always correlate to their main idea, position, etc.
Overall, prewriting graphic organizers are the perfect tool for students as their first step in the writing process, and the perfect formative assessment tool for teachers. You know your students better than anyone. So, adapt and modify these prewriting graphic organizers to fit your classroom needs, just as you would with any other instructional tools.