Writing About Time: My Favorite Times

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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process

Grade 3- 5

Objective

Students will write a three-paragraph essay about their favorite times.

Directions

Instructions
The following directions are broken down into parts to help students write a larger essay. The main purpose is helping students to practice putting paragraphs together. Plan to teach the following steps over the course of several days. The number of days needed depends upon your students' ability, attention span, etc.
Illustrating Directions
  1. Brainstorm with students their favorite days of the week and favorite times of the day. Discuss the difference between a.m. and p.m. Explain that a.m. is from 12:00 midnight until 11:59 in the morning while p.m. is from 12:00 noon until 11:59 in the evening. Demonstrate the change of a.m. and p.m. on a manipulative clock. If enough manipulative clocks are available, students may also manipulate their own clocks as they work in groups.
  2. Instruct students to fill in their favorite day and time in the a.m. and their favorite time in the p.m. on Worksheet #1. Students can write their favorite time in the a.m. on one clock and their favorite time of the p.m. on the other clock.
  3. Direct students to create an illustration of their favorite times by drawing a picture on their favorite day of the week. Next to each hour of the clock, they can draw a symbol representing what they are doing at that time of the day. For example, they can draw a bed at 1:00 a.m. and a plate of eggs and toast at 7:00 a.m. When students are finished, they will have a 24-hour pictorial time line. (The same symbol may be used for different times.)
  4. Writing a Three-Paragraph Essay
First Paragraph
  1. Distribute copies of Worksheet #2 to guide students. Explain to students that they will be writing about their favorite times in three different paragraphs to create one essay. They can record their rough drafts on the worksheet. The first paragraph will be about their favorite day of the week.
  2. The topic sentence for this paragraph will state each student's favorite day; however, once the essay is completed, students will add a final, main topic sentence to the beginning of this paragraph. In other words, the first paragraph will probably have six sentences. An example of the first paragraph topic sentence is as follows:
  3. My favorite day of the week is Saturday.
  4. (Note: An example of a main topic sentence that ties together all three paragraphs is given in Steps #9 and 10.)
Second Paragraph
  1. Students then write three supporting sentences giving reasons why they have chosen their preferred day. For example:
  2. I like Saturday because I do not have piano lessons. Saturday T.V. also shows many cartoons. I can play all day because I do not have to go to school
  3. The students' concluding sentence for the paragraph might be the following:
  4. Saturday is the best day of the week.
  5. Remind students about the difference between a.m. and p.m. Explain that a.m. is from 12:00 midnight until 11:59 in the morning, and p.m. is from 12:00 noon until 11:59 in the evening.
  6. Direct students to choose their favorite time of the morning and to write a paragraph using the same format as the first paragraph. For example:
  7. My favorite hour in the a.m. is 10:00. Sometimes on Saturday, I watch television. When I am at school, I go to recess. On Sundays, I go to church. In the morning, 10:00 a.m. is a relaxing time of day for me.
Third Paragraph
  1. Explain to students that they will be writing about their favorite hour in the p.m. hours.
  2. Direct students to use the same format as the first and second paragraphs to write their third paragraphs. For example:
  3. My favorite p.m. hour is 6:00 p.m. I like this time because my dad comes home from work. I also get to play a little longer. Then, I get to eat dinner. In the evening, 6:00 p.m. is a fun time of day.
Main Topic Sentence and Concluding Sentence
  1. Explain to students that they need to create one major sentence to begin their essays. This is the main topic sentence that will begin the first paragraph and also will tell what the essay is about. They are to write this sentence at the top of Worksheet #2 where it reads "Main topic sentence of the essay."
  2. Guide students to read over their three paragraphs in order to create sentences that introduce their entire essays. For example:
  3. I have many different favorite times.
  4. Point out that they can not use "My favorite day is . . ." as a topic sentence because that only talks about one of the paragraphs.
  5. Explain to students that they now need to create one big concluding sentence---the final sentence of the third paragraph---that finishes the essay. For example:
  6. In closing, I enjoy each of these times very much.
  7. When students have completed their worksheets, students proofread the page for any errors they may have made and correct them.
  8. Edit each student's paragraph, or have students peer edit each other's work.
  9. Once the editing step has been completed, instruct students to rewrite their essays on lined white paper with the proper heading (name, date, and subject) and a title. Also, remind them to indent each new paragraph.
Variations
Emerging Writers
Write a single paragraph about one favorite time of the day.
Experienced Writers
Write a three-paragraph essay independently, without a worksheet for guidance. Include transitions, and develop complex sentences.
Evaluation
The instructor will be able to check the following:
  • Is there a main topic sentence and a main concluding sentence?
  • Are there three complete paragraphs in the correct format?
  • Does the student provide supporting reasons for each favorite time?
  • Are the grammar, punctuation and spelling correct?
  • Can the student tell the difference between a.m. and p.m.?

Resources

  • student copies of Worksheet #1,
  • My Favorite Times and Worksheet #2
  • pencils

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