Monday, November 3, 2014

HOW TO TEACH PARAGRAPH WRITING

Now that your students are WRITING COMPLETE SENTENCES  (Mini Lesson #2)  , FIXING FRAGMENTS (Mini Lesson #3), and RUN-ONS (Mini Lesson #4). it is time to transition into paragraph writing!    This post will cover mini lessons 5-6-7- Topic Sentences, Relevant Details and Clinchers.

topic sentence, relevant details, closing sentence, clincher, hamburger model, graphic organizer

MINI LESSON #5 TOPIC SENTENCES
Paragraphs need to have topic sentences.  It is a way of organizing and expressing the main idea of the paragraph!
  • It answers questions like why, how, or where.
  • It has supporting sentences or relevant details.
  • It can prove, explain, or describe something.

Paragraph:  Summer weather lets me play outside.  I have fun under the sprinkler with my brother.  We run through the water and scream each time!  It is refreshing to swim in the lake too.  At night, I play hide and seek with my friends.  I usually hide behind a big bush.  I love when the weather is warm!


This is the perfect time to introduce INDENTS!  Point out paragraph indentions in text books or stories to reinforce this lesson!

Indents are moving the first line of a paragraph to the right and creating a space.
  • It is usually 5 letter spaces.
  • The first sentence of every paragraph should be indented to show where the paragraph begins.
  • The rest of the sentences should be lined up on the left.  If using notebook paper, these sentences should line up on the pink or red line.

paragraph writing using indents


I like students to take notes on the elements of a paragraph.  If using interactive notebooks, create something similar to the following.

a topic sentence is a complete sentence that expresses the main idea of a paragraph


Students should brainstorm ideas for a paragraph of their own.

teach topic sentences to help students understand paragraph parts

IDEA:  Students use their brainstorming skills to write a paragraph using a topic sentence.  Shoulder partners can point out the topic sentence or share as a whole group.  Students can hold a hand up to their ears if they hear the topic sentence.  This will help keep their attention!


MINI LESSON #6   RELEVANT DETAILS
Within a paragraph, writers need to STICK TO THE TOPIC.  This means that everything in the paragraph is related to the topic sentence and is IMPORTANT!
  • These details support the topic and give the writing true meaning.
  • It creates imagery, a picture in the reader's mind.
  • This is the perfect place to include personal experiences or detailed examples.

Paragraph:  Summer weather lets me play outside.  I have fun under the sprinkler with my brother.  We run through the water and scream each time!  It is refreshing to swim in the lake too.  At night, I play hide and seek with my friends.  I usually hide behind a big bush.  I love when the weather is warm!


Students should take notes.  VIP-P- very important piece to the paragraph!  


show students how to add relevant details to a paragraph

graphic organizer to teach how to add relevant details to a paragraph

IDEA:  Students write a paragraph independently or in partners and highlight the relevant details.


MINI LESSON #7 CLOSING SENTENCE
A closing sentence is the concluding sentence. Close the door to the paragraph!
  • It summarizes the main ideas or feeling of a paragraph.
  • It is not a relevant detail in the paragraph.
  • Use a "clincher" to be creative with the closing sentence!  (question, humor, excitement, or a future thought)
Example paragraph:

Summer weather lets me play outside.  I have fun under the sprinkler with my brother.  We run through the water and scream each time!  It is refreshing to swim in the lake too.  At night, I play hide and seek with my friends.  I usually hide behind a big bush.  I love when the weather is warm!
     
Other examples of clinchers for the same paragraph:

Question:  Do you like to play outside in the warm weather?

Humor:  Warm weather is like hitting the lottery!

Excitement:  I love it when the weather is warm!

Future:  I can't wait for the next warm day!


Taking Notes:

teach students how to end a pargraph with a closing sentence and add a clincher

teach students how to end or close a sentence with exciting ending


Have your students use the HAMBURGER MODEL to put their ideas together from the lessons:  Topic sentence, relevant details, and clinchers.  When they are finished, have them write the paragraph out in their writing section of their notebook.
use hamburger model graphic organizer for paragraph writing.  topic sentences, relevant details, closing sentence, clinchers.

DO YOU WANT THIS ORGANIZER FOR FREE?  CLICK ON THE BURGER BELOW!


I hope you enjoyed these mini lessons!  Your students will now have a good foundation on how to write a paragraph!


Do you need a complete NO PREP Paragraph Unit?  There are anchor charts, interactive notebooks pages, practice worksheets for each of the following:  Complete Sentences, Fragments, Run-Ons, Topic Sentences, Relevant Details, and Clinchers!  As a Bonus- Indents lesson, hamburger graphic organizer, and assessment!

teach students complete sentences, fragments, run-ons, topic sentences, relevant details, closing sentence and clinchers

This is a small section of our writing program.


paragraph writing, narrative writing, opinion writing, informative writing, a complete writing program


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