Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Strong Paragraph

The students in Room 12 are constantly working to refine the writing craft. I have noticed lately that we could use more work on paragraph structure, so students were assigned the task of writing a paragraph about something they know a lot about. They weren't held responsible for presenting factual information, just for writing a solid, well organized paragraph.

They have learned that a paragraph should have a strong opening sentence that either answers the prompt or establishes the main idea for the reader. Hopefully it has some sort of catch or hook, or something that a reader will find interesting and makes them want to read more. The topic or main idea sentence should be followed with 3-5 well written, detail sentences that support the main idea. Finally, the paragraph closes with a concluding sentence that wraps up the piece. It should address the main idea sentence without repeating it; when possible the closing sentence should share some thought, feeling, or opinion.

Here are a few examples from students who did all 3 of these things pretty well in our last assignment:
Owls by Linnea
                Owls are interesting and complex in almost every way. For example, they have three types of feathers; the primary are the biggest and used in flight, secondary feathers are mostly used in flight and down (the 3rd type of feather) is just used for keeping warm. Owls also have facial disks to help them hear and expert eyes that can see in the dark! Owls are special because most birds usually have 3 toes in front and 1 toe in back while owls are able to have 2 toes in front and 2 toes in back. There are many types of owls are around the world. Elf owls are the smallest, not even as big as your hand! The Great Grey Owls are the biggest: bigger than this paper! Big, small, young, old, owls are just amazing!

Bald Eagles by River
       Bald eagles are very graceful flyers and hunters. They hunt alone and don't share food. They are the second largest type of eagle, second only to the Marshall eagle. Bald eagles have a 6 foot wingspan while the Marshall eagles have a 6-8 foot wingspan. They live near rivers where they feed on salmon. One of the strangest things about them is that they have black chicks. Bald eagle are graceful flyers, successful hunters, and as chicks weird  looking creatures, but those three characteristics are what make the bald eagle such an amazing animal.   

Pig Paragraph by Gavin
Can you guess what porcine means? It means piggish and I think pigs are the coolest animals on earth. Pigs usually have cotton candy pink skin, but sometimes their skin is an elephant gray with dark spots. Pigs are usually found on farms where they are raised and then sent to a restaurant or a store to be turned into bacon or some other type of meat. Pigs' tails look like really short springs. Their snouts are oval shaped with two nostrils that look like black holes. Pigs have four stubby legs and they love to play in soft, squishy mud. They eat sloppy food and usually live in pens. I hope everyone thinks the pig is an amazing animal, because even though pigs are messy, they are still really cool.

Tui by Phoebe
A Tui is a very exotic bird that lives in most parts of New Zealand. The Tui’s feathers are a greenish-bluish iridescent color on most of its body. Some parts of its body are mostly an iridescent green or an iridescent blue. On its throat, there is tuft of white feathers that looks like a mix between a roster’s wattle and a tied up, fancy scarf that is covered in fluffy white feathers. Its unmistakable call sounds like a long, exotic mixture of many different bird sounds. The main diet of a Tui is nectar from a plant called flax. How the Tui sees is interesting. It sees in ultra violet so the flowers it feeds on stand out even more than they seem to stand out to us. A lot of birds see in ultra violet. All birds fascinate me, and I especially like the Tui for its unique call and tuft of elegant white feathers.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Linnea, River, Gavin and Phoebe,
    Nice job on the strong paragraph thing and Linnea I love your paragraph about Owls.


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