9. The teacher models paragraph writing through composing think alouds
Once the students have had some time to generate sentences as a group, practicing them for fluency, it is time to have them classify their sentences and compose paragraphs.
- students name an important component in the photograph- e.g.sharks. the students look carefully for all the sentences that talk about the sharks
- write down the # of each sentence onto chart paper under the titlesharks
- tell the students that this is a category and the title is sharks
- have students explain their thinking
- generate many categories over a few days, and shared with the class
- teacher composes a paragraph.
- teacher writes each sentences in a different colour. (This helps to visualize how sentences sweep back and forth across the page and that sentences do not end at the end of the page).
- teacher shares their own paragraph with the students, (show the category they used and sharing their thinking as the writer. It provides a good model of the thinking involved in writing)
- model several paragraphs every cycle. It is important to have students share: their categories, their paragraphs, and their thinking as often as possible. We want students to practice reading these paragraphs orally to increase fluency as well as to gain a comfortable understanding of basic paragraph construction.
This is the kind of metacognitive thinking students need to develop. With young children ( k-1) keep this as a group activity initially. After a cycle or two, even kindergarten and grade one students will be able to do this inductively. Gradual Release of Responsibility or GRR!!!