Friday, August 10, 2007

Lesson Plan Ideas - Paragraph Study


To recognize and identify a paragraph.
To name its components: topic, indention, main idea, and details.
To identify the topic, main idea, and supporting details of a given paragraph.
To give the supporting details of a given main idea.

blackboard, strips of paper, hand-outs, large piece of paper


Have the children read the following short paragraph (this may be written on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper):

A hummingbird is an interesting bird. It has a long thin beak. Its wings beat very fast. They make a humming sound.

Discuss the content of the paragraph: the topic, main idea and supporting details.

Point out to the students that what they have read is a paragraph.

Define a paragraph to them: It consists of a group of sentences that talks about one topic.

Ask the students if they can tell the topic of the paragraph: a hummingbird

Which sentence tells about the topic? The first sentence. Point out that the first sentence in this paragraph is the main idea of the paragraph.

(Sometimes, the writer writes the main idea at the end of the paragraph to keep the readers guessing).

The main idea talks about the topic: A hummingbird is an interesting bird.

Let the students read the sentences following the main idea, and ask them the function of these sentences. Point out to them that these are the supporting details of the paragraph. They explain further the main idea: Why is the hummingbird an interesting bird?

Discuss the structure of a paragraph: Point out to the space before the first word of the paragraph, and explain that this is called an indention. The first word of a paragraph is indented for us to identify that a new paragraph is being presented. (At this time you may want to ask your students to open any literature book and see if they can give the number of paragraphs from a prose selection on a given page).

Reinforcement of Skills: Present some more paragraph from the students textbooks and drill them in identifying the given components of a paragraph. Here is another short paragraph you may want to use.

There are many different kinds of clouds. Some are high, some are in the middle, and some are low down in the sky. The three main kinds are cirrus, cumulus, and stratus clouds.

Use the following exercises to reinforce identification of the topic, main idea and the supporting details of a paragraph. You may want to write these sentences on a strips of papers. Children have fun reading them from these materials/flash cards.


Give the topic of each of these main ideas.

My friends like to draw. _________________________
My mother keeps a beautiful garden. _______________
The whales are marvelous creatures ________________
The sun is our main source of energy. _____________

Develop the following topics into main ideas: sport, favorite food, school, project.

Give supporting details for the main ideas above.

Develop each of the given topics above into a good paragraph.

Write your favorite topics and develop them into good paragraphs.

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