Language Arts, Reading, Reading Comprehension
Grade 3- 5
Students match topic sentence cards to their correct body sentences cards.
Discuss with students the essential parts of a paragraph.
The first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence. It tells what the paragraph will be about. Topic sentences need a specific subject and a specific feeling or attitude. For instance:
"My brother must be from another planet."
My brother is the subject; must be from another planet is the feeling or attitude.
The sentences that follow the topic sentence add specific details to tell more about the topic. The details need to make the topic more interesting or help explain what you mean. Every sentence in the middle of the paragraph, or the body, needs to be about the topic stated in the topic sentence. The sentences in the middle are also known as the body sentences or the supporting sentences. Here are three body sentences for the topic sentence above:
First of all, he doesn't sit down and chew food like us earthlings; he inhales his food as he passes by the table, and then he disappears. He has also been known to emit some very peculiar odors which he seems to like to collect and keep in the form of sweatsocks and dirty T-shirts which he tucks into corners of his room and under the bed. If that is not enough, he makes very odd sounds that seem to be a kind of screeching language from his native planet, "EEeeeeeecccchhhhsssss, belllpppppp, gggggrrrrrroggggggghhhhh."
The last sentence of your paragraph is the concluding sentence or closing. This sentence reminds the reader of what the topic is about and what it means.
This could be a closing sentence for the paragraph above:
And so, it is clear that my brother is not an earthling at all. I wonder if my parents have figured this out?
Here is a paragraph that has a topic sentence, two body sentences, and a closing sentence.
School is fun. In school we learn about many interesting subjects. We read and write and play with our friends. I can't wait to go to school each morning.
Tell students that it is their turn to think of body sentences to support the topic sentence. Write the following examples on the board and have students fill in the blanks:
School is fun.
I can't wait to go to school each morning.
Extension: Instead of just two body sentences, have students think of three or four. Write a paragraph that begins with: "School is no fun at all," or "My brother (sister/friend/pet) must be from another planet."
Distribute the activity sheets and have students play the matching game to demonstrate their knowledge of paragraphs.