At the beginning of the school year my students learn to generate lists—favorite places, people\things we love, our special memories, etc. We use these lists to brainstorm ideas for writing personal narratives, opinion pieces, and informational texts all throughout the year.
I have included 4 different organizers for each topic\list. There are larger organizers for a traditional notebook size and slightly smaller organizers for a composition notebook. Each size has a blank organizer and an organizer with lines. As a special education resource teacher, I have found that my students benefit from the structure that lined paper provides. Any time my students are struggling for a writing topic, we revisit their lists for new ideas.
Heart Map (things\people we love)
Memory Basket (favorite memories)
Special Places (favorite destinations\places to visit)
Favorite Things (special objects, activities, games)
Summer Vacation (things we did during summer break)