July 31, 2017
|
By Maggie Knutson

Lesson plan

Paragraphs That POP!

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GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to identify the structure of a paragraph and assemble sentences into a paragraph structure that makes sense.

(10 minutes)
  • Select an excerpt from a class read aloud or another favorite book.
  • Read a sample from the text while projecting it for the class to read along.
  • Ask students to pay attention to paragraph breaks.
  • Discuss: How do authors decide when to start and stop paragraphs?
  • This exercise will help students think about the function of paragraphs: what this formatting structure does to organise information, and how it’s done.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Studying Paragraphs.
  • Review the structure of a paragraph as described and illustrated on the sheet.
  • Explain that in stories, paragraph breaks are usually created when there is dialogue, a shift or lapse in the action, or a change in the setting.
  • Ask students to turn to a neighbour to discuss how this is different in nonfiction.
  • Share thoughts about nonfiction paragraph breaks. Students will likely suggest ideas that are related to a change in the content or topic.
  • Explain that the structure on the sheet is a guide, and that skilled authors will often modify it to fit their needs. Paragraphs don’t always fit this structure, but it’s a good way to think about them as a beginning writer.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Paragraph Puzzle 2. Have students cut up the sentence strips.
  • Instruct students to work with a partner or table group to put the sentences in a paragraph order that makes sense.
  • Review group work as a class. Discuss the orders they decided on and have them share their thinking.
  • Share the original order as published by the author.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the worksheet Paragraph Puzzle 1. These sentences will create two paragraphs.
  • Instruct students to complete the activity.
  • Review group work as a class. Discuss the orders they decided on and have them share their thinking.
  • Share the original order as published by the author.
  • Support:Provide the topic sentence for each paragraph in the exercises.

  • Enrichment:Instruct students to find a paragraph in a nonfiction text in your classroom and see if it fits the structure.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students divide a paper into three segments. In each segment, answer a question: What is the job of a topic sentence? What is the job of the sentences in the body of the paragraph? How about the final sentence?
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss: Why are paragraphs in fiction and nonfiction structured differently?

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