The lesson introduces students to writing effective paragraphs, so they can effectively communicate information to those who will read the paragraph. This traditional lesson breaks down a simple paragraph for students and gives step-by-step instructions on how to write an effective paragraph, allowing students a chance to practice each step. The lesson can be used in conjunction with other writing-related lessons like tone and style in writing.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:
- Tell students to imagine that cell phones, computers, and other kinds of technology have failed. Ask: How would you communicate with someone in another state or country?
- Allow for responses and discussion. Lead the discussion to writing letters. Distribute one sheet of writing paper. Direct students to write 5 to 7 sentences for a future visitor giving information about their town. (Do not help students. Give no more than 15 minutes.) Collect all paragraphs. (Save these for the lesson closing.)
- Distribute Writing a Paragraph content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
- Following the content, create a paragraph with the students’ cooperation. Ask for topic ideas. Next, allow students to share topic sentence ideas. Then, ask students to suggest detail sentences. (Option: Vote on best sentences.) Finally, ask for closing sentence suggestions. Display final sentences for students to review.
- Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Once students have created each part of a paragraph, randomly distribute the pages to the class. Allow students sufficient time to complete the activity. (Option: Teacher may re-distribute more than one time.)
- When all students have completed the full paragraphs, allow volunteers to read some of the paragraphs.
- Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
- Distribute the Homework page. The next day, review work, allow students to share their work aloud.
- In closing, redistribute the opening lesson paragraphs. Tell students to rewrite the paragraphs using what they learned. Tell them to write the new paragraph on the back of the original page. Give students no more than 15 minutes or so.
- Once students have completed, allow volunteers to read aloud the before and after paragraphs. (New paragraphs should be better written.)
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2
Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions
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