My school recently started a writing initiative using the 4 Square Writing Method developed by Judith Gould. I have always used a variety of tools to teach writing--
We began by using it as a writing tool to aide in reading comprehension. We completed one together in class for our class read aloud book, Muggie Maggie. We placed the main idea in the middle box, then in the top left box we added a detail. We also added details in top right hand box and bottom left hand box. In the last box, I had the students write a prediction of what they thought might happen next and why. On day two, we added transitions words to boxes 1,2, and 3. We added a favorite part sentence and why in box 4. On day three, after discussing options for Bodacious Beginnings (This is what we call our Writing Hooks.), we added the Bodacious Beginning to the very top. We also added our Enormous Ending at the bottom. Lastly, I showed the students how to take the information from the top, the middle square, and the 4 squares to create a paragraph. The students gasped in astonishment. Each day I sent them back to their desk to practice as we did had practiced or learned. On this last day, the students were so proud of their summaries. I saw light bulbs spark. Each week for homework, student have to read and summarize on Monday----so the results will come in tomorrow morning.