Strategies to teach paragraph writing to primary students handbook 1
Strategies to TeachParagraph WritingtoPrimary StudentsHandbook 1Kavita Grover
[kavita grover] Page 1IntroductionAs a part of my research in classroom intervention to accelerate students’learning the given worksheets are a compilation of worksheets and strategies toteach students from grades 3-5 to write an organised paragraph. I havepresented my research work in three parts.Handbook 1: What is a paragraph and parts of a paragraphHandbook 2: Types of paragraphsHandbook 3: Using graphic organisers to teach paragraph writingThese strategies can be used for individual, pair or group work. They are in theform of worksheets with increasing complexity.
[kavita grover] Page 2What is a paragraph?Writing a paragraph is not a natural skill but a learned skill. A paragraph usuallycontains a main idea in one sentence and 4-5 supporting sentences whichexpand this idea by giving explanation, details and/or examples to support themain idea. The length of a paragraph can vary.A paragraph has a Main idea Topic sentence- This is the first sentence and expresses the main idea. Supporting Sentences: details that expand the main idea. Concluding sentence: a rounding off possibly by summarizing what hasbeen said or drawing a logical conclusion from it.Effective writing is a writing which has a logical flow and is cohesive. Thismeans it holds together well because there are links between sentences andparagraphs. Writing which is cohesive works as a unified whole and is easy tofollow because it uses language effectively to maintain a focus and to keep thereader “in track”.
[kavita grover] Page 3Worksheet 1Topic and main idea of a paragraphActivity 1: Identify the main idea of each cluster or words, phrases orpictures.___________________________________________________________________ShirtSareePantFrockSummerSpringAutumnWinterCatFatHatMatPatRatRises in the eastGives us heat and lightHuge starBall of firefireSky
[kavita grover] Page 4Activity 2: From the main idea given below, make clusters of your own.NounVerbReptilesAdjectives Shapes
[kavita grover] Page 5Worksheet 2What is the main idea?Write the main idea for each list of words from the given idea bank.1) Cartoons movies my favourite showMain idea: ________________________2) Pizza French fries burgersMain idea: ________________________3) Trains guns basketballMain idea: ________________________4) Swimming holidays no schoolMain idea: ________________________5) Money customers clothesMain idea: ________________________6) Santa Clause gifts treesMain idea: ________________________7) Animals shed cropsMain idea: ________________________8) Teacher desk pencilMain idea: ________________________Main idea bankFavourite food Toys Summer Television School Farm Christmas Store
[kavita grover] Page 6Worksheet 31) Write the main idea of the paragraph. One is done for you.a) There are many choices. There’s ice cream, cake, pie and cookies. I thinkbrownies are my favourite. I wish I could eat only desserts and nevervegetables.Main idea: I love eating desserts.b) I can hear him snoring at night. In the daytime he goes outside and eatsmy mom’s daisies. H tracked his muddy foot prints into the house. I askfor extra macaroni and cheese to feed my dinosaur.Main idea: ___________________________________c) They pinch my feet. I can’t wriggle my toes as much as I want. My feetget hot in the shoes. I can’t wait until summer when my feet and come outand play.Main idea: ______________________________________d) I like to feel the wind go through my hair. Everything passes by youreally fast. Then you get out of breath. That’s when I start to walk.Main idea: _______________________________________e) They like to lie around all day. They walk slowly. Sometimes they like tolick their fur. That’s why some of them get fat.Main idea: _______________________________________
[kavita grover] Page 7Worksheet 4Read the paragraphs and then select the main idea for each paragraph.a) Jon held the ball in his hand. He bounced it slowly on the ground. Once,twice. He crouched low and then jumped. The ball flew into the air. Up,up, up, it went. Then down, down, down into the basket. “Yes!” heyelled. “Nothing but net.”The main idea of this passage:i) How to throw a basketball.ii) Jon liked basketball.iii)Jon could jump.iv) Jon makes a basket.b) Ann used her chalk to draw lines on the side walk. She marked them intoblocks. Then she put numbers in the blocks. Jan and Jill came to play.The girls played hopscotch on the sidewalk.The main idea of this passage:i) Chalk.ii) Ann drew on the sidewalk.iii)Playing hopscotch.iv) Playing on the sidewalk.c) The frog sat on the side of the pond. He was very still. His green colourmade him hard to see. A bug flew near him. His tongue zipped out, andhe gobbled it up. Then the frog was still again. He waited for the nextbug.The main idea of this passage:i) Frogs do not move.ii) Frogs eat bug.iii)Frogs are green.iv) Frogs live in ponds.
[kavita grover] Page 8Worksheet 5Topic SentenceLocation of topic sentence fact sheetTopic sentences express the main idea of a paragraph. They areusually stated in the first sentence (Pattern A) or last sentence (PatternB) of the paragraph, and sometimes they are stated in different ways inboth (Pattern C). A topic sentence rarely ever appears in the middle of aparagraph (Pattern D).A. Spanish is spoken in many countries. It is spoken throughoutLatin America. Of course, it is the language of Spain. In somecountries, like the Philippines, it is one the official languages.Many people throughout the world use Spanish to communicate.B. Dogs in the U.S. are treated like humans. People talk to their dogsand buy them special toys and clothing. There are special parks,hotels, restaurants and bakeries for dogs. Some owners take theirdog to see a psychiatrist as well as the veterinarian. Americandogs are spoiled like childrenC. The park is a pleasant place for everyone. Little kids like to playon the swings and slides. Older children can play little leaguebaseball or other team sports at the larger parks. Teenagers oftenplay Frisbee on the grass or volleyball in the sand. Adults enjoytaking walksD. Some people leave too many lights on around the house. Somearen’t careful about how much water they use. Americans waste alot of resources. Most people buy products with a lot ofunnecessary packaging that isn’t good for the environment.Underline the topic sentence.a) Joseph and Tom are friends. They walk to school in the morning.After school, the boys ride their bikes and play games together.Sometimes they sleep at each other’s houses. The boys like to betogether.b) This is how you make a peanut butter and jam sandwich. First you gettwo slices of bread. Next you spread peanut butter on one slice of
[kavita grover] Page 9bread. Then you spread the jam on the other slice of bread. Last youput the two slices together, and eat.c) Dogs are wonderful pets to have. They know how to do tricks andlove to run and play. They are furry, and very cute. They love to lickyou when you hug them. They are fun to have.d) My favourite holiday is Christmas. I like decorating my tree withlights. Santa Claus brings us nice presents. In the morning, we get toopen presents and play with our toys. Then our family eats a bigdinner for Christmas. I love Christmas with my family.e) I love to go shopping with my mom. She lets me buy my own clothes.I get to go to different shops. My mom takes me to eat lunch. Then welook at toys at the toy store. When we leave, she lets me help bags andwe go home.
[kavita grover] Page 10Worksheet 6Read the following passages. Write the main idea and identify the topicsentence for each paragraph.a) Alice’s adventure in wonderland is a good book. It is a story of a girl whodreamt the she went down a rabbit hole and had many adventures. Shedrank something from a bottle to get smaller. Then she ate a little cake toget bigger. She went to a mad party where she met a Marsh hare andquarrelled with him. It was a curious dream. She told her sister about thedream.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________b) Owls are well equipped to do their hunting at night. The animals that theylike best to eat are those that are active at night. The feathers of an owlare so soft that it can swoop down upon a mouse or a rat without beingheard. The big eyes of an owl help it see well even at night.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________c) Fins are a great help in swimming. A fish pushes itself forward bymoving its tail from side to side. It’s others fins help it to keep its balanceand also guide it.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________d) Wind is simply moving air. Of course, at the same time the air movesfaster than other times. The wind may be only a gentle breeze, it may be avery strong breeze, or it may be a gale.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________e) Scientists know what causes eclipses. The moon travels around the earth.An eclipse of the sun is caused when the moon passes between us and thesun. An eclipse of the moon is caused when the moon travels into theearth’s shadow.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________f) People used to tell time by looking at the shadow on sundials. For somesundials it was the length of a shadow that told the time of the day. For
[kavita grover] Page 11other sundials, it was the position of the shadow. Some sundials are stillin use.Main idea: ___________________Topic Sentence: ______________________________________Answer keyQuestionno.Main idea Topic sentencea Alice inWonderlandAlice’s Adventures inWonderland is a good book.b Owls Owls are well equipped todo their hunting at night.c Fins Fins help to guide fish inwater.d Wind Moving air is calledwind/Wind moves atdifferent speeds.e Eclipse Scientists now know whatcauses eclipses.f Sundial People tell time by lookingat the shadows on sundials.
[kavita grover] Page 12Worksheet 7Sequencing of sentences in a paragraphCOCUNUT TREEi) Draw /show a picture of a coconut tree on the blackboard and ask thestudents to say one sentence each associated with coconut.ii) Write their responses/sentences on the blackboard.iii)Brainstorm with the students by asking “What will be thestarting/topic sentence, the supporting sentences and the concludingsentence?” Number the sentences according to the students’ responsesiv) Next ask the students to sequence the sentences in thecorrect/organised manner.v) They can also join two sentences with a connector. Or add newsentences.Some of the students’ responses:a) Coconut is a tree.b) Coconut grows in coast areas.c) I like to eat coconut sweets.d) Coconut shell is hard.Note: This activity is modelled in front of the whole class. Sequencing thesentences can in groups/pairs.
[kavita grover] Page 13e) Coconut grows on trees.f) We make baskets/nets/ropes/chutney out of coconut.g) Every part of coconut is useful to us.h) Coconut can float on water.Exercise: Sequence the above sentences in the correct order.
[kavita grover] Page 14Worksheet 8Given below are some samples of students’ responses when asked towrite a paragraph describing about their favourite tree. Read theparagraphs carefully and underline those sentences that do not supportmain idea and complete the table below.a) APPLE TREE: My favourite tree is the apple tree. It grows in theHimalayas. Its fruits are very juicy. It does not have more leavesbut more fruits. Its wood is used for making furniture. It does nothave many seeds.b) MANGO TREE: My favourite tree is the mango tree. I like thistree as it gives shade. Trees give us many useful things. Jasmineflowers give us perfume. They give us tasty food to eat.c) MANGO TREE: I like the mango tree because it gives us juicymangoes. I like the strawberry tree as it gives us shade. I like theneem tree as it gives us medicines. I like the tulsi tree as it gives ussmell.d) BANANA TREE: I like this tree very much because it is so we arehealthy. The wood helps in studying by the table. This tree iswonderful tree by which we can live very well. It is vital forenergy.e) BANYAN TREE: I like the banyan tree very much. It is largestrong and sturdy. The banyan tree has attractive roots growingdown from the branches. We can climb on it and play. The banyantree gives us lots of shade.Self-assessment of paragraphsPara no. MainideaTotal no. ofsentencesTopicsentence(yes/no)No. ofcorrectsupportingsentencesa)b)c)d)e)
[kavita grover] Page 15What did you learn from the above activity?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
[kavita grover] Page 16Worksheet 9Mind mapping: Using a mind/word map to write a paragraphi) Have the students brainstorm and recall the words associated withthe word Cow.ii) Arrange the words in a column____________________________________iii)Write one sentence with each word._______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________iv) Choose the topic sentence._______________________________________________________v) Now sequence the sentences to make a meaningful paragraph.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________COW