We've seen that maps are simply templates that offer a graphic presentation of related concepts. Mapping can be used in group activities to get everyone involved and contributing. As a result, they turn a valuable but otherwise boring activity like pattern writing or other repetitive exercises into an energetic game.
Many books, songs and poems offer wonderful patterns for moving writing beyond simple sentences and bringing it closer to children's personal lives. Below are two examples that use the same techniques as other pattern writing activities to move the kids to new levels of sophistication and provide a foundation for a better understanding of storytelling.
Journal writing is an activity that follows the same pattern every day; only the topic changes. The idea is to get kids thinking about an important concept that will be used in other projects and activities that day—in this case, the Internet. Each day, you'll give them instructions for things to write or draw in their individual and group journals, then ask them to share the results with the class.
The "Imitation Writing and Poetry" project engaged children and counselors in a group reading and writing project. Using the structure of Shel Silverstein's "Hug o' War" allowed us to share a basic structure while developing our own unique poems. The children were 2nd-3rd graders.