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Arts & Letters Daily


5 W Paragraph Format

Writing Class Activity – 5 W Paragraph Format

–          Brainstorm for topics students know a lot about or give students suggestions

–          List these topics on the blackboard. List some key words that students might need for each topic.

–          Choose one of the topics and, with input from the class, write a paragraph with a main idea. Use a Think Aloud Strategy which involves asking yourself questions and verbalizing the steps you are following as you write. Here is a sample Think-a-loud.

  • We need to pick a topic that we know a lot about. We could write about the school’s sports day. Think of a title. Let’s make a concept map to help organize what we want to say using the 5W’s. The first heading will be ‘Introduction’ which should include the main idea. The second heading is the Body which should include the sub ideas and details. The third heading is Conclusion which refers back to the main idea.
  • What is the main thing (prominent W), we want our readers to know about sports day? Where and when it was held? What we did?  Who took part? How should we begin? We need to state the main idea in the introduction.  Let’s write that on the 5W template.  Now we can add the other W’s to the template. Finally, we need to think about how to conclude the paragraph. How do we write a conclusion? Give me some suggestions. Make sure the sentence refers back to the main idea. Let’s write it under the concept map.

As a class read the draft and ask the following questions

  • Do we have a title?
  • Do we have an introduction which contains the main idea, the prominent W?
  • Did we include some of the other W’s as sub ideas?
  • Did we write a conclusion that refers back to the main idea?
  • Did we use key words which indicate the W’s?
  • Did we write complete sentences? Check for the basic pattern in each sentence.
  • Did we use adjectives correctly?

Now let’s revise our draft.