Are you teaching paragraph writing to your elementary students? Have they already mastered writing sentences? If so, it's a great time to introduce them to writing simple paragraphs!
A paragraph usually has several sentences put together in a logical order. There is the topic sentence which states the topic of the paragraph. There are supporting sentences which support the topic sentence, and there is a concluding sentence. Together, these make up a paragraph.
When you are teaching beginning writers how to write paragraphs, it is good to use some sort of visual to model the structure. One such visual is a hamburger, where the top and bottom buns represent the topic and concluding sentences and the supporting sentences are the burger and the toppings.
You don't have to use a hamburger as a visual though. Even a basic layout like this one will do.
Paragraph Writing Practice
A great way to start learning about paragraph structure is to rearrange mixed up sentences. Students can put the sentences into the correct order to make a proper paragraph. You can use laminated sentence strips at a center or just have students cut and paste from a photocopied sheet. It is a hands on way of having them arrange the parts of a paragraph into proper form.
If you don't have a lot of time for cut and paste, students can simply reorder sentences to make short paragraphs. Write 5 mixed up sentences on a page and have them write them in the correct order below. Or you may want to use ones like this:
Students can eventually start to write their own paragraphs. You may wish to provide the topic sentence and then have them make their own supporting sentences or conclusion. You may even want to provide the concluding sentence and have them figure out what the topic sentence should be. The idea is for students to state the topic sentence and then find another way of writing it as the concluding sentence.
If you want to leave it more open ended, you could just give them the topic and let them decide what their first sentence will be.
If students are moving on to writing their own paragraphs without support, they will first want to brainstorm some topics that they can write about.
Some topics your students might want to write paragraphs about are:
- The Weekend
- A Family Trip
- Their Pet
- A Friend
- A Teacher
- A Party
- Their Favorite Foods / Sports / Games
- A Special Talent They Have
- Music Lessons
- A Time They Were Surprised / Happy / Mad
Each of the activities above can be found in my Paragraph Writing Resource in my TPT store.
Happy Paragraph Writing!
You may also want to check out my Sentence Editing Blog Post for some fun editing activities!