Research shows that students who do prewriting exercises write better essays. While many children can make their own mind maps and outlines on blank paper, other students find the framework of a graphic organizer helpful. I created three different layouts for prewriting an essay. Each one assumes the standard structure of three main ideas (three body paragraphs).
Once your children internalize the graphic organizers, they can create their own impromptu forms on blank paper.
These graphic organizers could also be used to analyze sample essays when teaching essay writing. In a peer editing session, students would switch papers and deconstruct the essay with one of these layouts. A well written essay should be easy to outline on any of these graphic organizers. It it is not easy, then the essay likely has some structural problems.
As always, I love to hear when you use the free printables from The Notebooking Fairy in your homeschool. If you send me photos, I will feature you in a Show Off post.