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Arts & Letters Daily


Think Aloud Strategy for writing paragraphs

Writing Class Activity – Think Aloud Strategy for writing paragraphs

–          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. For example:

  • We need to pick a topic that we know a lot about
  • We could write about the school picnic we had last week
  • The  title could be ‘Our School Picnic’
  • Let’s make a concept map to help organize what we want to say
  • What is the main thing we want our readers to know about the picnic?
  • Where and when we went for the picnic … what we ate … what we did … why we had the picnic.

–          How should we begin? We need to state the main idea in the first or second sentence. Think about what the first two sentences should be. Then we can add the other ideas you suggested. For example,

–          Now that we have written the main idea and sub-ideas we need to think about how to end the paragraph. What do we want to say in the conclusion? Give me some suggestions. ‘We had fun at the picnic.’ Does that tell us something about the main idea? Try again.’ We will work hard at school next year to earn another great picnic’.

–          That’s a good sentence because it refers back to the main idea.

Let’s read our draft together and ask ourselves the following questions in order to determine if we accomplished what we set out to do.

–          Do we have a title?

–          Did we focus on one main idea?

–          Did we include two or more sub ideas?

–          Did we write a conclusion?

–          Did we write complete sentences?

–          Did we get the past tense of the verbs right?

Now let’s revise our draft.