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Home : 2003 : Oct : 23

    Topic sentences
    By Heidi

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    I did an activitiy that worked well. It took a bit of time to prepare the materials for it, but once they're ready you can save them and use them another year. I photocopied one paragraph from several different novels in our class library. I tired to choose paragraphs with a good topic sentence. I cut the topic sentences off the paragraph and glued them onto coloured paper. I glued the body of the paragraph to coloured paper too. I laminated my pages before giving them to kids bbecasue it was soooo time consuming. Each group's pages were colour coded so I had a blue team (all the topics and bodies were on blue), a red team, etc. Each team had the same 8 paragraphs to sort through and figure out which topic sentence went with which body paragraph.

    My principal especially liked that I assigned groups of 4 and told them nobody could move until I said go, since they all had to hear the instructions. I explained who was to work together and what corner of the room they would use. I even sent a group out to use the hall just outside my door because they really need to spread out to sort them.

    Students were engaged in reading the paragraphs and worked cooperatively to explore the topic sentences. It drove home the point that good writers make their topic sentences then fill the body of a paragraph with deatils that support that topic, so it is easy to identify which goes with which.

    It took about 20 minutes for the kids to do the matching, not including my time giving instructions.

    The kids in my room are used to workign in groups.

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