Maybe it's just me but I found that a large part of my class was incorrectly utilizing/ not taking full advantage of text maps, pre-writing tools and outlines. I created this mini lesson to share with my students all the wonderful ways that pre-writing helps us as writers. It talks about real world and relatable examples/reasons that good writers pre-write and what it means to pre-write or use the tool to "guide writing". This article is interactive and involves student thinking and discussion. It's short, sweet, unique and highly effective.
As a part of this lesson I printed out different examples of narrative text maps, and expository text maps that I hadn't used before in class, as well as copies of ones they were familiar with. After the activity we passed the copies around and "sampled" them. Student groups lead discussions about what they liked/disliked about each tool, and then found ones they favored for both types of writing.
During our next writing prompt I was overjoyed to see my students using the text map that they themselves chose.