Paragraphs (And Revision)

What Are They?

The basic element in expository, persuasive, and narrative prose is the paragraph.  Paragraphs explain one idea with details and examples.  With each unique idea, a new paragraph is started. A new paragraph is notated with an indentation of your words from the margin, or by double-spacing the lines.

Today's writing contains short paragraphs for ease of reading on the Internet or in newsprint.  However, writing for information requires that more details explain each idea so that your reader understands.  We will practice a simple format, and you will expand on this with your own style and voice.

Let's see if you discover the format with the activity here, "I am thankful."

The Eight Sentence Paragraph

A Song to Help (5 Sentence for fourth grade)

Another Lesson:


2. Elaboration Strategies: 
For each main idea in your paragraph, elaborate with details using these elaboration strategies.


: describes what something looks like or sounds like

Example: Lapping continuously on the shore, the glistening waves slapped onto the beach like warrior elves sparkling to war against the knaves by the blue light of the full moon.


:  Adds who, what, when, why, where, how information (specific)

Example: Sam, net in hand, marched quickly into the gym to catch the rascal raccoon that had scooted into our school after a frosty night.

Strong Verbs

:  Action (can it be done?) --- pulls, slips, yells

Example: I

on the rail, dropped to the ground, and tumbled into the lake.


: How were you feeling? How was the character feeling? How do the characters feel about each other?

Example: I dropped into the chair and

, exhausted from jogging five miles to keep in shape for basketball, but excited to be ready for the team.


: What are the characters thinking? imagining? wondering? Example: I thought, “What if I fall?”


: an anecdote, evidence, for instance, for example (Africa is a sleeping giant; The dog was as big as a polar bear -- compared Africa to a giant; big dog to a polar bear)


: include conversations between characters to SHOW what is happening


“No!” I yelled. “I won’t take my shoes off.”

“But you’ll freeze with that wet leather,” pleaded Mom.

3. Paragraph Review

Review document

4. Sentences: 

5. Paragraph Evaluation