As nonfiction writing is beginning to be emphasized more and more in younger grades, I needed to find a way to make writing make sense for my younger grade students. So, since the first sentence in an essay is called a "hook," I thought - writing is like fishing! This graphic organizer is a great way to visualize good essay writing for students and help them organize their thoughts for a rough draft.
I tell my students (many of whom fish on the weekends) that in order to catch a fish, they have to get the fish to bite their hook. In the same way, we have to grab our readers with a good first impression - a question or an interesting fact. But that doesn't mean the fish is caught! Any real fisherman knows you have to set the hook first - meaning you have to give them a solid thesis statement that previews your topic and main point. Next, we need to "reel in" the fish (our readers) with lots of good evidence and arguments. Finally, we need to make our message "sink in" by restating our topic sentence before we "wrap up" our fish with a final statement, thought, or question.
If you live in Nebraska, this is a great way to help your students understand the structure of the TDA essay required on the NeSA test. If you don't, it's just a great illustration to introduce the 3-paragraph essay!