At only $1.00, I think this Teachers Pay Teachers resource is a steal! Guide your students through all stages of the writing process, beginning with graphic organizers, to write about their superhero powers. This will be very appealing to early elementary students, both boys and girls. It is a PowerPoint file, so you'll need to have this program in order to print out the materials.
This "Oreo Opinions" organizer is really cute, and will appeal to younger elementary-aged students. I've never seen a second-grader who didn't love Oreos! It will challenge them to distinguish between reasons and examples, and also restate their opinion. You can buy the packet from Teachers Pay Teachers (created by Lesson Plan Diva), but the link goes to the Oreo Opinions freebie.
Third-grade teacher Genia Connell writes about how she uses graphic organizers for writing In her third-grade classroom. She includes lots of examples of her organizers, and also photographs of her students working. Common Core standards are also listed at the end of the article.
This article highlights the findings in a recent study published in Learning Disability Quarterly. The study showed a "large, positive effect" on testing performances of students with learning disabilities who used graphic organizers. Interestingly, the research showed that students with lower verbal abilities benefitted more from graphic organizers than students with higher verbal ability.
Need a different perspective on graphic organizers? A teacher posting on Center for the Collaborative Classroom suggests that graphic organizers should be used carefully and moderately. Why? Although she does use graphic organizers and concedes that they are very helpful, she believes they can limit student creativity and originality.
I included this resource in the collection because it's so simple and will appeal to your students. It was designed to retell the beginning, middle, and ending of a story, but it could also be used as a way to plan a narrative.