Utilizing the TAGS trick will help students write a clear written response to an informational or literature prompt. TAGS stands for Tell what the question is asking, Answer the question, Give 3-5 details, Say question again.
This has been a highly successful trick to teach my students as compared to other things like the Sandwich organizer. This trick is particularly helpful for state standardized tests where students are required to write a thorough and clear response. For state testing, I had my students trained to write TAGS on their scrap paper and they would check them off as they completed each letter. Students that use TAGS will write in a clear and organized way.
If you are going to use this trick, I highly recommend modeling and practicing a few times before grading them.
This trick can be used across subject areas and grade levels!