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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!!!