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Writing paragraphs from formulas

Subject:

Language Arts  

Grade:

3  

Title – Writing paragraphs from formulas
By – Mary Jane Reed
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 3-REMEDIAL ADULT

BETTER PARAGRAPHS
USING MATH FORMULAS

This is a way to visually teach steps in writing a paragraph. This is useful for LD students especially those with a math strength. It gives the student a framework and allows them to plug in each area in a model to be copied. This unit can be an introduction and practice technique for grades as low as 3 and 4. It can be used independently to remediate writing difficulties or as a single tool taught in a battery of paragraph writing skills.

The lessons can be modeled and the steps projected on a wall or enlarged to be self-checking posters to be displayed. A further use would be to provide this unit as a packet the student uses in class and/or takes with them to use with homework and writing in other areas.

A teaching plan would be as follows:


Day One

Introduce concept of steps in writing paragraphs. Define topic sentence, detail sentences, concluding sentences. Use examples in packet or use those from textbooks.

My preferred way to do this introduction is with a great deal of verbal interplay with class choral reciting or rapid-fire question and answer formats.

Assign paragraph as a pretest model. Topic would be generic. This is to be kept for later use.

Day Two

Explain that numbers can help us to be organized. Examples: putting shopping items in a list, numbering off for games, sorting items for the book shelf or game tables, a time schedule for classes, voting…

Model other ways to organize ideas for writing–as a concept web or map, Discuss ways to improve maps–as the writing never fits in the boxes, you still have to put the items in order to write a paragraph. Try a map or web. Samples included.

Day Three

Introduce 1-2-3-4-0 paragraph format.
Write several on overhead with student input.
Give blank model and ask students to write a 1-2-2-2-0 paragraph. A topic that fits easily is “Three Reasons I Like or Dislike _________________” A topical, seasonal, or fad such as a song. movie, or TV show works great or a hot school issue–cafeteria food is usually a source of negative thoughts.

Day Four

Introduce 1-2-2-2-0 paragraph format. This is different because it asks for 3 details that are about the same topic. This is a more refined paragraph describing one area. The paragraph generated yesterday about bad cafeteria food could be used as am example. One detail probably generated was that the food is cold or warmed over, making it tasteless or even stiff!!

Continue this thought with the cold food in the cafeteria concept. The cold food becomes sentence 1 and your 3 “2″ sentences are about that cold food. “The food is so cold that you have to chip the ice off of it.” “The food is so cold that you have to wear gloves to eat it.”

Day Five

Introduce the longer paragraph format 1-2-2A-2-2B-2-2C-0. The topic from yesterday could still be useable. If you do this, fill in yesterday’s sentences and expand on the ideas. Model a new 1-2-2-2-0 paragraph to use the next day.

Day Six

Review 1-2-2-2-0 and 1-2-2A-2-2B-2-2C-0 formats.

Take the 1-2-2-2-0 from yesterday and expand it into a 1-2-2A-2-2B-2-2C-0

Day Seven

Discuss other versions of the format. For example a 1-2-3-4-0 could have further support sentences written in

Quickly generate a 1-2-2A-3-3A-4-4A-0 paragraph

Day Eight and on …

Two more sample outlines are included to use for specific paragraph needs. They are chronological order and cause and effect. They can be taught now or stand alone as a review or extension later on.

I would make sure to assign paragraph types as an on-going follow-up. They could be quick writes, homework or classwork. They could also be assigned in different content areas, because standardized tests in all content areas require constructed responses. A group that had this strategy as a background would be able to construct paragraphs of a format that fit these criteria.


Are your sentences arranged into paragraphs?

Review patterns:

1 = Topic Sentence
2 = Supporting Detail Sentence
2A, 2B, 2C etc. = further or additional support for the detail in 2
3, 4, and 5 = different supporting details
0 = Concluding Sentence

1-2-3-4-0 = 1 topic, 3 different details (2,3,4), concluding sentence

1-2-2-2-0 = 1 topic, 3 details, concluding sentence

1-2-2A-2-2B-2-2C-0 = 1 topic, 3 details, each with a further support, concluding sentence

1-2-2A-3-3A-4-4A-0 = 1 topic, 3 different details, 3 further support details (2A, 3B, and 4B), concluding sentence


WRITING FRAME FOR
FIVE SENTENCE PARAGRAPH

PATTERN 1-2-3-4-0

TOPIC SENTENCE ________________________________________
DETAIL #1 ________________________________________
DETAIL #2 ________________________________________
DETAIL #3 ________________________________________
CONCLUDING SENTENCE ________________________________________

WRITING FRAME FOR
FIVE SENTENCE PARAGRAPH

PATTERN: 1-2-2-2-0

TOPIC SENTENCE ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL #1 ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL #2 ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL #3 ________________________________________
CONCLUDING SENTENCE ________________________________________

WRITING FRAME FOR A LONGER PARAGRAPH

PATTERN: 1-2-2A-2-2B-2-2C-0

TOPIC SENTENCE ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL (2) ________________________________________
SUPPORT FOR DETAIL (2A) ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL (2) ________________________________________
SUPPORT FOR DETAIL (2B) ________________________________________
SUPPORTING DETAIL (2) ________________________________________
SUPPORT FOR DETAIL (2C) ________________________________________
CONCLUDING SENTENCE ________________________________________

WRITING FRAME FOR A
1-2-2B-3-3B-4-4B-0 PARAGRAPH

TOPIC SENTENCE _____________________________________
DETAIL SENTENCE 2 _____________________________________
FURTHER SUPPORT OF DETAIL 2B _____________________________________
DETAIL SENTENCE 3 _____________________________________
FURTHER SUPPORT OF DETAIL 3B _____________________________________
DETAIL SENTENCE 4 _____________________________________
FURTHER SUPPORT OF DETAIL 4B _____________________________________
CONCLUDING SENTENCE _____________________________________

CHECKING PARAGRAPHS

Paragraphs may be evaluated and improved using the following checklist (quoted from REFERENCE).

Topic Sentences

  • What is the topic sentence of each paragraph, and is it stated or implied?
  • Where in the paragraph does it fall?
  • Should it come at some other point?
  • Would any paragraph be improved by deleting or adding a topic sentence?
  • What is the most general sentence in each paragraph?
  • If the most general sentence is not the topic sentence, should it remain or be omitted?

Supporting Details

  • Which sentences, if any, do not relate in some way to the topic sentence?
  • Is there any way to justify their inclusion?

Organization

  • Is each paragraph organized in a way that is easy for readers to follow?
  • By what means are sentences linked in each paragraph?
  • Do any more links need to be added?
  • Do any of the transitional expressions try to create links that do not really exist between ideas?

Development

  • How completely does each paragraph develop its topic sentence?
  • What methods of development are used, and are they effective?
  • What other methods might be used?
  • Does the paragraph need more material?

Length and Variety

  • How long is each paragraph?
  • Are paragraphs varied in length?
  • Does any paragraph seem too long [e.g. an entire page] or too short [e.g. one sentence]?
  • Is there anything that might be given strong emphasis by a one-sentence paragraph?

Cohesion

  • By what means are paragraphs linked together?
  • Do any more links need to be added?
  • Do any of the transitional expressions try to create links that do not really exist between ideas?

First Paragraph

  • How does the introductory paragraph catch the interest of the readers?
  • How exactly does it open – with a quotation? an anecdote? a question? a strong statement?
  • How else might it open?

Last Paragraph

  • How does the last paragraph draw the essay to a conclusion?
  • What lasting impression will it leave with readers?
  • How exactly does it close- with a question? a quotation? a vivid image? a warning or call to action?
  • How else might this essay conclude?

Chronological Order

1-2-3-4-0

Chronological order is the order in which the events occurred, from first to last. This is the easiest pattern to write and to follow.

EXAMPLE:

1. A baby is born helpless and learns to be more independent in time.
2. First, the baby learns to roll over and sit up.
3. Soon the baby can crawl.
4. Without the passage of much more time, the baby can walk and stand on its own two feet.
0. An infant grows up to be a toddler.


MODELING–COPY MODEL GENERATED IN CLASS:

1.

2.

3.

4.

0.


NAME______________________

WRITE A 1-2-3-4-0 PARAGRAPH ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:

1. THE STEPS IN A MAKING A SPORTS PLAY–
LIKE MAKING A BASKET, CATCHING A PASS

2. RETELL A FAVORITE TV SHOW OR MOVIE–
PLEASE REMEMBER TO BE APPROPRIATE

1.

2.

3.

4.

0.


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