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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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5.7 Strategies to Help with Prewriting: Planning and Organization

Prewriting is a critical stage of the writing process involving the generation, planning, and organization of ideas and deciding what and how to express ideas before beginning to write. This is a significant challenge for children with ADHD because of the high executive function demands. The prewriting techniques in this checklist are designed to stimulate ideas, topic selection, and effective planning and also provide much-needed structure, organization, and motivation to write.

Prewriting Techniques in the Classroom

  • Brainstorming. Sessions are no more than three to five minutes and focused. Given a general theme or topic, students call out whatever comes to mind related to that topic while someone records all responses from the class.
  • Quick writes. Students have a few minutes to write down everything that they can think of related to a given topic, which can be single words or phrases or simple pictures or symbols to represent ideas. Model the same uninterrupted writing or drawing on a topic of your choice to demonstrate the process to students.
  • Writing topic folders. Students maintain a folder, card file, or notebook of possible ideas for writing topics. These might include hobbies, places visited, jobs they have done, personal interests, colorful and interesting people they know, pets, special field trips or activities, observations, wonderings, and so forth. The writing folder can also be in the form of a personal ...

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