There are sentence starters, and the graphic organizers are really straight forward. At this stage in the game I do not expect student led topic sentences, or conclusion sentences. The beginning of the year is when teachers need to establish writing routines and expectations, and this is perfect for that. If you want to see how I use these packets in the classroom, watch the video here:
Students would use the graphic organizer to get their thoughts together and then use that information to finish the sentence. This is exactly how I taught my students to write cohesive sentences last year, and they had SO much success with it. The prompts are all focused on those back to school questions; who do you live with, what's your favorite color, what do you hope to learn this year, etc. This journal would be awesome to compare beginning of the year writing to end of the year writing as well!
The bundle includes this Back to School journal, as well as the following three with more detailed graphic organizers, and more room to write. Or, you can grab just this packet here!