Choose a card from the Informative Paragraph Starters – Topic Sentence Cardswhich best suits the focus content of the unit e.g. phenomena. Read the topic sentence and ask the students to identify the topic of the paragraph e.g. the destruction that can be caused by earthquakes. As a class, brainstorm additional facts that could be included in the paragraph and list these on the board.
After the brainstorm, select the three most relevant facts from the list on the board. Students could vote on which facts they feel are the most important.
Using the topic sentence on the card and the facts from the class brainstorm, jointly construct an informative paragraph about the topic. Encourage the students to include appropriate language features, such as subject-specific vocabulary. Once the paragraph is finished, allow the students time to write the jointly constructed text into their workbooks.
Provide the students with a copy of the Informative Paragraph – Planning Template. Using a different topic sentence card from the same category, allow the students to work in pairs to write an informative paragraph about the topic. Encourage the students to follow the same process as the one used for the joint construction.
Encourage each pair to share their informative paragraphs. Allow the class to provide positive feedback, as well as suggesting helpful ideas for improvement.
Encourage more confident writers to work individually on their informative paragraph, rather than in pairs.
Allow students who find writing challenging to work with a teacher or teacher aide during the pair activity.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities