5th Grade - Writing Multiple-paragraph Compositions, Part 1

Writing multiple-paragraph compositions, part 1
Create multiple-paragraph narrative compositions: establish and develop a situation or plot, describe the setting, present an ending (organization and focus).
Be able to write an essay with at least five paragraphs that describes a story, including a setting, includes a conflict, and ending.

Sample Problems


True or False: Writing is a one-step process. (false)


What is the purpose of narrative writing? (to entertain)


Good ________ hook readers and make them want to read more. (beginnings)


True or False: It’s okay to leave the reader guessing about a few things. (false, you should wrap up the loose ends with a strong ending)


True or False: The setting includes both the time and the place. (true)

Learning Tips



Writing process- the steps you go through to go from an idea to a finished product: organize your thoughts, write a rough draft, revise and edit, final draft.


Organize Your Thoughts

Fill in this organizer to organize your thoughts before you begin writing so that you know what to include and what to leave out.


What happened?

Why did it happen?

How did it happen?









After you have written your narrative, check to see if you did all the following:

  • Started with a strong introduction that includes setting, characters and the start of the plot.

  • Organized the series of events across time.

  • Developed characters by including their feelings and actions.

  • Developed plots that make sense.

  • Didn’t include unnecessary details.

  • Included transitions.

  • Included supportive details.

  • Ended with a solution to the problem.


Practice President

You have been named President of the United States for one day. Write a story about what happens during your day as President.

Once you have organized your thoughts, write a rough draft. Are you finished? Nope! Now you need to revise and polish until you have a final draft.


Good Ways to Start

A strong start hooks the reader and makes them want to read the rest of your writing. Here are some ideas to get you started strongly.

* A command to the reader

Example: Never try to outsmart a skunk.

* A question

Example: What possessed me to try to catch a skunk? I will never know.

* A quotation

Example: "What on earth is that horrible stink?" my sister gagged, putting the collar of her shirt over her nose.

* An action

Example: I had never run so fast in my life. Unfortunately, it wasn't fast enough.

* A sound effect

Example: "PSFST!" I smelled the skunk's spray almost as soon as I heard it.

* A theme statement

Example: It was a battle with nature. Nature won.

* A thought

Example: As I walked through the woods, I imagined how wonderful it would be to have a real live skunk for a pet.

Extra Help Problems


How many paragraphs is the usual minimum? (five)


Is it more important to focus on a single main event or list many ideas? (focus on a main event)


True or False: Details should follow the main ideas with effective transitions. (true)


Do you need to keep in mind the purpose when writing your narrative composition? (yes)


Do you need to keep in mind the audience when writing your narrative composition? (yes)


True or False: The beginning should make readers want to read more. (true)


True or False: Focusing your personal narrative on one main event helps you write about only the important things and leave out unrelated details. (true)


Choose the best ending for a story about a camel ride:

a) It was fun.

b) That’s it!

c) As I snuggled under my covers that night, I fell asleep thinking about my ride on the camel.



Choose the best ending for a story about a fun day at the zoo:

a) It was the most fun day of my life.

b) When I got home, I opened my birthday presents that my mom and dad gave me.

c) I’m already looking forward to the next time we have a fun day at the zoo. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!



Choose the best ending for a story about an embarrassing event:

a) I was extremely embarrassed.

b) I learned a lot from it, and now I feel for other people more when they are embarrassed.

c) As long as I live I’ll never forget the most embarrassing moment of my entire life.



Choose the best ending for a story about a trip to the art museum:

a) Then we went home.

b) As I traveled home, I thought about my exciting day at my favorite place, the art museum.

c) The art museum is a neat place. You should visit it.



True or False: Listing ideas is a good way to write a narrative. (false)


True or False: It’s a good idea to create a plan and organize thoughts before writing. (true)


Focus, organize, and elaborate to construct an effective message for the reader


Purposefully shape and control language to demonstrate an awareness of the intended audience


Select specific information to guide readers more purposefully through the piece


Is this a strong or weak ending: It was fun. (weak)


Is this a strong or weak ending: I fell asleep in the car on the way home. (weak)


Is this a strong or weak ending: You should try it! (weak)


Is this a strong or weak ending: Finally we left. (weak)


Is this a strong or weak ending: We drove home. (weak)


Where should the setting usually be placed? (close to the introduction)


Is a conclusion needed, or can you just stop writing? (conclusion is needed)


Is it okay to include all the details you can think of? (no, only relevant details)


True or False: When you write a narrative, you are only writing for yourself. (false, you should consider your audience)


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