Jumpstart Structured Thinking With Templates

Last week I talked about how we can shift the negative paradigm of blank page syndrome to being a positive one, with Inspiration® 9 and Webspiration Classroom™ service, that encourages critical thinking, creative development and organization while beginning the writing process, organizing class materials, studying or taking notes. Yet sometimes students need more support when learning different thinking strategies. Templates or graphic organizers provide the structure necessary to suggest a way of thinking about literature, historical events, science and more. These tools really get the wheels turning while teaching the framework of thinking skills students can independently apply later.

Templates guide the writing process.
Students often struggle to find a starting place when they begin writing or thinking about a writing project. So while your students are learning to write comprehensive thesis statements and supporting topics throughout the introduction, body and conclusion of their first essays, they may benefit from a writing template that helps them think about and organize their information and ideas before they start formulating sentences and paragraphs. In Inspiration, students can begin crafting their ideas with some of the following Language Arts templates: Cause and Effect Essay, Comparison Essay, Descriptive Essay, Persuasive Essay, Research Paper or Three Paragraph Essay. These templates help students begin to think about what they want to say and then begin the writing process.

Templates teach specific thinking and analysis tools.
Templates can help students to structure thinking into learning a conceptual idea or specific method of analysis. For example, using a cause and effect diagram can help students better understand the subsequent outcomes of events and the consequence of actions. When they fill out a graphic organizer that asks them to identify the cause and its corresponding effect, they can frame their thinking while learning a valuable critical thinking method.

In addition, in a social studies course, a student could create a conflict analysis diagram with the template titled “Current-Historical Conflict” in Inspiration or the “Conflict Analysis” Starter Doc in Webspiration Classroom. A diagram that analyzes a conflict in history helps students to better understand, identify and evaluate the different areas of conflict, mutual interest and more. By visualizing and determining the importance of each party’s position in a conflict, students can better problem solve and find solutions.

Discover templates for your lessons.
In Inspiration, you’ll find over 90 built-in templates that provide support to language arts, science, social studies, and thinking and planning skills. In Kidspiration, you’ll find 150 Activities in the subjects Reading and Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies. In Webspiration Classroom, you’ll find over 50 templates in the Stater Docs accessed through the  Documents Manager. What’s more is that in each of these tools you can also create and save your own templates to distribute to your students!

So while students have the freedom and flexibility to begin from scratch with a blank page, they can also start with the structure necessary to comprehend different subject matters and ways of thinking. What are your favorite templates? Check back next week to learn why your school should be looking to the clouds – of cloud computing that is.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mona Westhaver, Inspiration Software, President

Mona Westhaver
President and Co-founder, Inspiration Software

Mona Westhaver, President and Co-founder of Inspiration® Software, Inc., has more than 30 years’ experience in visual thinking, systems thinking, and educational learning tools and technology. She has a passion for helping people learn to clarify thinking and feelings and to communicate knowledge and views in a positive way.
Mona Westhaver
View all posts by Mona Westhaver

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