4th Grade - Writing Multiple Paragraphs

Writing multiple paragraphs
Create multiple-paragraph compositions: A - Provide an introductory paragraph, B - Establish and support a central idea with a topic sentence at or near the beginning of the first paragraph, C - Include supporting paragraphs with simple facts, details and
The ability to write complete, well-developed paragraphs in comprehensive compositions which include beginning (introductory), middle (supporting), and end (closing) paragraphs, all indented correctly.

Sample Problems


What is the purpose of an introductory paragraph? (to introduce the main idea(s) and topic(s) to be discussed throughout the text)


What is a topic sentence? (the main idea of a paragraph)


What are details and facts? (small bits of information – important concepts and ideas broken into easy-to-understand parts)


What is the purpose of a closing or concluding paragraph? (to summarize the main idea(s) and point(s) of the composition)


What does indentation signify? (the start or beginning of a new paragraph)

Learning Tips


Introductions are important. Practice introducing yourself to others. Then, introduce your close family members or friends to others. What is your main idea, or most important characteristic, to share? What points do you want to get across right away? Practice your introduction “speeches” before you present them to the public. Begin with statements such as, “Hello, my name is _________. I am a student that likes to ___________.” or “This is ____________. She/he is a ________ that likes to ____________.”


Although topic sentences come at or near the beginning of the first paragraph in a composition, sometimes it is easier to work backwards and write the topic sentence after you have written the rest of your text. At the end off each day, summarize it with a “topic sentence” that encompasses the most important or significant happenings of the day. For example, “Today was a long but fun day, spent in the sun which made me very sleepy!” or “I am so proud because this morning was the first time I have ever gotten dressed all by myself.” For a challenge, create a topic sentence in the morning for what you hope to have as the same topic sentence in the evening, like setting a goal.


When you ask your child how their day was, prompt them to include simple facts, details and explanations for their summary. Instead of the oh-so-typical, “Good,” or” Boring,” ask them, “Why was it _______? What made it __________? What was your favorite part? What was the worst part? Why?” The more you practice, the more extensive the details and facts will be, and your child’s justification skills will be honed nicely.


Summarizing points can be a very difficult or simple task for us, depending on our abilities. For those who like to talk a lot and add lots of details, there is a need to restrain and single out the most significant, or important, information. For those who are concise, or short, in speech, there is a need for elaboration. Summaries are usually harder for the “long-winded” people. Either way, summarizing can be thought of as shrinking information. While most of us struggle with taking an entire text or concept and shrinking it down to a few details, some of us are so good at simply identifying the main idea that we need to expand, or add a bit more. Summaries are not specific examples from the text; rather, they are overall ideas. Furthermore, they are not just a single topic or idea but all of the main ideas. Which are you? What do you need to focus on – shrinking or expanding summaries?


A powerful, clear purpose for writing is essential in order to connect with your audience. Categorize the following forms of writing in the different purposes (listed in the top row). [Answers shown for demonstration purposes.] Once you have categorized them, try to add more to each list!






Report Research

a specific person, place, or event

how to do something

a personal experience

to portray an opinion or point of view

to fix a problem

about a very specific topic


fractured fairytales


oral histories

Extra Help Problems


What is an issue or situation? (depending on the context they can mean different things; generally – a topic, problem, focus, dilemma, etc.)


Where in a paragraph can you find the topic sentence? (often the first sentence or towards the beginning)


How do you frame a central idea? (solidify, or single out, the main topic or idea and create a complete sentence)


What key on a keyboard automatically makes a proper indentation when typing? (Tab)


When writing, how large should an indentation be? (about as wide as your thumb)


What are organizational structures of compositions? (multiple-paragraph, single-paragraph, poems free-flowing, etc.)


How do you focus a composition? (narrow the scope of the topic – for example, rather than writing about dogs, write about what to feed dogs, or even better, what to feed a specific breed of dog)


What is a structure? (something that defines an arrangement or configuration)


What is support? (evidence to prove something)


What parts of a story are necessary for it to be complete? (a beginning, middle, and end)


What story elements are necessary for it to be complete? (plot, setting, characters, problem, climax, solution/resolution)


What is a summary? (a statement of the most significant main ideas, a synopsis, a rundown, etc.)


What is summarizing like? (shrinking information)


What should topic sentences be supported by? (supporting sentences with details, facts, explanations, etc.)


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