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Arts & Letters Daily

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Paragraph Format

Writing Class Activity – Paragraph Format

–          Make sure that students understand that paragraphs have an introduction which contains the main idea, a body which contains the sub-ideas and details as well as a conclusion.

–          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, sub-ideas, details and a conclusion. Use a Think Aloud Strategy which involves asking yourself questions about the steps you are following as you write.

  • pick a topic that we know a lot about (e.g., our school’s sports day)
  • think of a title.
  • make a paragraph format template to help organize what I want to say
  • What is the main thing we want our readers to know about sports day?
  • Think about the main idea. Then we can add the sub ideas and details.
  • Now that we have written the main idea, sub ideas and details, we need to think about how to conclude the paragraph. Make sure that the sentence refers back to the main idea.
  • Now let’s check to make sure we have written complete sentences. To do that check for the basic pattern in each sentence.

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 and details?
  • Did we write a conclusion?
  • Did we write complete sentences?
  • Did we get the past tense of verbs right

Now let’s revise our draft.