4th Grade - Writing With Focus And Organization, Part 2

Writing with focus and organization, part 2
Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view based upon purpose, audience, length, and format requirements. (organization and focus)
The ability to organize and focus a point of view in a composition based on criteria including the overall purpose, audience, length, and format requirements.

Sample Problems


How do you focus a composition? (narrow the scope of the topic – for example, rather than writing about dogs, write about what to feed dogs, or even better, what to feed a specific breed of dog)


What are organizational structures of compositions? (multiple-paragraph, single-paragraph, poems free-flowing, etc.)


What is a point of view? (a perspective, opinion, thought, etc.)


Who are possible audiences for writing? (peers, teachers, family, friends, greater society, etc.)


What are possible purposes for writing? (to entertain, to persuade, to inform, to relate/share, etc.)

Learning Tips


To understand how to focus writing, we must know how to focus our thinking. Practice starting with a broad topic and break it into smaller parts through dialogue with someone else or in a thinking map such as a tree map.

For example:

So instead of writing about plants or animals in general, you can choose a specific topic, such as tulips, to write about. To focus writing even further, you can write about the season in which to plant tulips, or what colors of tulips there are, etc.


List as many, varied audiences that you can think of writing for, or that other people write for. Don’t forget to include yourself – sometimes we keep personal diaries, journals, etc. just for us. On that note, think of Anne Frank – do you think she ever intended her diary to be read by people all over the world, including hundreds of thousands of children in classrooms? What is the greatest scope of audience you would be willing to write for? (e.g., your close family, distant relatives, class, entire school, local newspaper, worldwide publication, etc.) Why?


A powerful, clear purpose for writing is essential in order to connect with your audience. Categorize the following forms of writing in the different purposes (listed in the top row). [Answers shown for demonstration purposes.] Once you have categorized them, try to add more to each list!






Report Research

a specific person, place, or event

how to do something

a personal experience

to portray an opinion or point of view

to fix a problem

about a very specific topic


fractured fairytales


oral histories


What is your point of view about important topics? What gives you the right to judge them? What criteria do you use to evaluate topics? Do you consider the overall context or situation and how your background knowledge affects your opinions? Take an example of an important topic and break down why you feel the way you do about it. Examples: school uniforms, a popular movie or TV show, a certain kind of food, etc.


Ask the student questions about any composition (e.g., informational article, passage, book, story, etc.):

Why would the author write this – what is their purpose?

How might the author have gathered this information?

What were the struggles or problems noted in the text?

What else would you like to know that the text did not include?

What behaviors of the author would you like to emulate, or copy?

Have a discussion to check the child’s comprehension of the piece of literature. Ask them to draw a picture to go with the text.

Extra Help Problems


Who usually designates format and length requirements of a composition? (teacher, organization, boss, superior, etc.)


How do you decide what your focus should be? (narrow the scope of the topic as much as possible)


How do you decide what your point of view should be? (base your opinion on evidence like facts and details)


How do you decide what your purpose for writing should be? (depending on your audience, personal desire/ need, and background)


What is an audience? (a group of people that will possibly or probably read the composition)


What is a purpose? (a reason, intention, point, drive, aim, etc.)


What is a structure? (something that defines an arrangement or configuration)


What is support? (evidence to prove something)


What parts of a story are necessary for it to be complete? (a beginning, middle, and end)


What story elements are necessary for it to be complete? (plot, setting, characters, problem, climax, solution/resolution)


What is the opposite, or an antonym, of a fact? (opinion)


What is the opposite, or an antonym, of an opinion? (fact)


What are synonyms for an opinion? (perspective, belief, point of view, etc.)


What are synonyms for a fact? (truth, reality, actuality, information, evidence)


What are synonyms for a detail? (point, feature, element, aspect, specificity)


What does objective mean? (unbiased, neutral, unprejudiced)


What is the opposite of objective? (subjective)


What is a topic sentence? (the main idea of a paragraph)


What should topic sentences be supported by? (supporting sentences with details, facts, explanations, etc.)



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