This ready-to-use set of printables includes everything you need to provide your middle school students with fun and effective paragraph writing practice. You can use this as a Paragraph of the Week program, at a literacy center, as homework or in whatever way works for your curriculum.
Because some teachers are using Common Core and some are not, there are two similar products included in this zip file. One uses Common Core terms (argumentative, informative, narrative), while the other uses more traditional terms (persuasive, expository, narrative). The prompts and graphic organizers are the same.
This resource is organized into several sections:
Writing Prompts/Brainstorming (63 pages)
There are 20 numbered prompts for each of the paragraph types (60 total): Argumentative Informative, and Narrative for the CC version and Persuasive, Expository, and Narrative for the traditional version. In addition to the prompt, each sheet includes helpful information for writing that type of paragraph, room for brainstorming, and a checklist to track each step of the writing process. There is also a page for each of the 3 types of writing with empty prompt boxes so that you can make your own. This allows you to create prompts for topics relevant to your class, such as field trips, social issues, school events etc.
Organizing Pages (4 pages)
There is one organizing page for each of the three types of paragraphs. These sheets guide students through the process of taking the ideas from their brainstorming and organizing them into the elements they will need to write the paragraph. Each sheet features instructions unique to that particular type of paragraph. If you do not wish to use such specific terminology, there is also a more generic format with check boxes for students to indicate the type of paragraph they are writing.
First Draft/Editing and Revising (4 pages)
Again, there is one sheet for each of the three types of writing, as well as a more general format. In addition to space for writing the paragraph, there is also an editing marks guide to use while editing and revising.
Combined Organizing and First Draft/Editing (4 pages)
With the organization step and first draft on one sheet, this format will work well when your students are ready for less structure. Again, there is one page for each type of writing, as well as a more general format.
Final Draft/Paragraph Checklist (10 pages)
Several options are given for the final draft. There is one for each of the three types of writing that includes a “Did you…” checklist to help students stay on track. The checklists are also offered separately, printed three per page. There are also formats that can be used with any of the three paragraph types that allow for illustrations, whole-page and half-page layouts. Use the one that works best for your students.
Grading Rubrics and Linking Words Poster (11 pages)
Two types of rubrics are offered for each of the three types of paragraphs. The first is a detailed, whole-page grid. The second is a less formal, half-page format that allows you to use whatever system works for you. Again, a more general rubric is also included. In addition, there is a poster listing several dozen linking/transition words and phrases for easy reference.
Suggestions for Use
-Use as for Paragraph of the Week – either in class or as homework. There are more than enough prompts for the year, so you can pick the ones that work best for your students.
-Give each student a Paragraph Writing folder or binder section. Allow students to select their own prompts and pace themselves, gathering materials as needed. Require a specific number of paragraphs be completed per month or quarter.
-Create a Paragraph Writing Center – Provide all the pages needed and swap out prompts each week. Students can use the center throughout the week as part of their literacy block.
-As students become more proficient at writing paragraphs, consider using notebook paper or computers for the steps that follow brainstorming. You might also skip the organizing step at this point and go directly from brainstorming to the first draft.
-When your students are ready, consider expanding some of the prompts into 3-5 paragraph essays.
Need this product for younger students? Try I Heart Paragraph Writing Grades 3-5.
Purchasing this product grants permission for use by one teacher in his or her own classroom.