Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process
Grade 5- 8
Students learn the importance of using transitional phrases in their writing.
Give students the following information about using transitions in writing.
Paragraphs are the building blocks of an essay. This is particularly true in a format as straightforward as the five-paragraph essay. Each paragraph counts as its own unit and serves a unique purpose.
When writing paragraphs, it is important for the series of ideas flow together. They do so with the help of transitions. Without effective transitions, your paragraphs will come across as disconnected, as a series of facts without any relationship. Transitions link ideas so that they relate to one another; they provide comparison and contrast, and they strengthen and weaken ideas.
Keep in mind that you need transitions between paragraphs, too. In some cases, transitions are single words. Other times they consist of more than one word, in which case they are called transitional phrases.
Write on the board or give as a handout the list of transitions below.
first, second . . .
in addition to
Transitions serve all sorts of purposes. Once students get accustomed to using them, they will become second nature, and students will achieve a more fluid writing style.
Give students the following final information and examples of transitions:
When transitions begin a sentence, they often require the use of a comma.
"There is a lot left to be done. For example, we have to clean the house."
Transitions and transitional phrases don't always have to appear at the beginning of a sentence.
"It is, however, important to vote when you turn eighteen."
Distribute copies of the Using Transitions activity sheet to students. Have them use the list of transitions to help them complete the activity.
- Using Transitions activity sheet (one per student)
- pencils or pens