Paragraph Writing Lesson

How to Write a Paragraph

Students first learn letters, then words, then sentences and then paragraphs. How far they've come when you show students where they've started.

Developing paragraph writing skills takes time and it often takes explicit instruction. Students need practice to write a strong introductory sentence and they back it up with related supporting sentences (at least three) and then they need to wrap it up with a concluding sentence that re-states the introduction sentence.

Students need to look at examples and they need time to develop their paragraph writing skills with many prompts. For instance, ask them to write down what they know about a storm they saw or a fall they had or something that happened to them.

Free Paragraph Writing Unit
Once an idea is selected, it's time to work in groups, pairs or as individuals to write a paragraph.  Let's try a storm.

Younger students will come up with something like this:

Last night there was a storm. Storms scare me. Storms cause loud thunder and lightning. I don't really like storms. I'm glad last night's storm didn't last long.

It is a paragraph, it has an introduction, supporting sentences and a concluding sentence all tied to one thought.

However, as students work with their peers, they'll come up with ways of improving their paragraphs if they get appropriate feedback. I may say, can you think of a way to expand the introductory sentence to give me a better idea about the type of storm.  I'm hoping the student will then add something like:

Last night there was an extremely loud and dreadful storm. The thunderous cracks and bolts of lightning had me sitting on the edge of my bed in fear. Etc.

Children need lots of practice writing paragraphs. To help out, try the worksheets "How To Write a Paragraph or the paragraph writing graphic organizers.

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