Summer Institute, V.W. taught us how to use stoplight or accordion writing when working with students who need extra help with structure. We made notecards designed to remind us of the steps used when writing basic paragraphs that include a topic sentence, details, and a conclusion. Then we were asked to expand a paragraph.
Some teachers think formula writing is too structured and likely to stifle writers. This is probably true, but some students need an organizational tool before they can begin experimenting with form on their own.
*The photo above is of L.R.'s sentence building lesson.