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.
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!