Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Teaching


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Madden, Marjorie


English language--Composition and exercises--Study and teaching; Fifth grade (Education)


Elementary Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the use of a graphic organizer during the prewriting stage of the writing process improved the writing of narrative compositions in fifth grade students. For this study, the Four Square approach to writing was the selected prewriting strategy. Four Square Writing is a systematic approach to writing designed around a graphic organizer that teaches students how plan before they write. The students in this study were introduced to the approach through small group instruction over a five-week period. By interviewing students, comparing writing samples throughout the intervention, and assessing writing using a rubric, I determined if there was an improvement in the students' writing throughout the study. At the end of the intervention, all of the students had exhibited improvement in their quality of writing. The findings of this study suggest that through appropriate instruction, students who employ prewriting strategies during the writing process can improve the overall quality of their narrative compositions.