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Learning about paragraph structure is the first step to effectively reading or writing nonfiction text. When kids analyze a text to locate the topic sentence, they will find the main idea. As they consider which sentences directly reinforce the topic sentence and which simply elaborate, they’ll uncover supporting details.
This resource provides the foundation for understanding informational text structure. A hamburger analogy helps beginners grasp the structure common to nonfiction writing.
*Paragraphs from the PowerPoint presentation and practice exercises are combined to form a five-paragraph essay. This scaffolds instruction from one-paragraph to multi-paragraph text structure, preparing students to find main idea and supporting details in longer pieces.
Session 1 - Introduce informational text structure with the PowerPoint presentation. It will use a hamburger analogy to explain paragraph format.
Session 2 - Review the hamburger analogy. Ask students to practice finding the topic sentence, three supporting detail sentences, and the conclusion in “Charles Perrault.”
Session 3 - Discuss the previous day’s assignment, “Charles Perrault.” Ask students to practice finding the topic sentence, three supporting detail sentences, and the conclusion in “Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.”
Session 4 - Discuss the previous day’s assignment, “Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.” Ask students to practice finding the topic sentence, three supporting detail sentences, and the conclusion in “Hans Christian Andersen.” You may use this as an assessment piece, if you wish.
Session 5 - Acknowledge that most informational texts are more than one paragraph. Explain how the structure generally stays the same:
Read the five-paragraph essay, “Four Famous Fairy Tale Authors.” Discuss the purpose of each paragraph and locate the thesis statement. Consider the main idea and discuss how it can be found in the first and last paragraphs.
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