Using this no-prep, hands-on activity, students will love learning about Columbus Day as they improve their language arts and map reading skills! Ready-to-use printables! Just copy and go!
This NO PREP activity packet contains an 8-sentence scrambled paragraph that can be put together only one way. Students use transitions and inferential clues to assemble the sentences into an organized, logical paragraph.
This resource includes:
- suggestions for instruction,
- cut-and-paste scrambled paragraph,
- paragraph assembly worksheet,
- model paragraph in published format,
- map skill activity,
- full-page answer keys, and
- blank template for extension writing activities.
A Scrambled Paragraph has eight sentences that can only be put together one way. Students quickly learn to use transitions and inferential clues to assemble an organized, logical paragraph.
Working with Scrambled Paragraphs helps students improve their own writing. This easy-to-use paragraph structure includes:
-- a title,
-- topic sentence,
-- three details with support; six (6) sentences, and
-- a closing sentence or clincher.
This Scrambled Paragraph + Plus contains an off-prompt sentence on the student's worksheet. Eight (8) of the sentences respond to the prompt, but one (1) does NOT belong in the paragraph.
This paragraph is challenging in other ways, too. The sequence clues include dates, time order words (EX: set out, instead, next), antecedents (EX: Christopher Columbus = Italian born explorer = he), and more challenging vocabulary (EX: Vikings, mainland, eventually.)
Additionally, this packet includes a Map Skills Activity designed to help students understand how Christopher Columbus viewed the world. By interpreting and marking maps, students can more easily envision the idea of sailing west to get to a destination known to be in the east.
Organizing scrambled paragraphs helps students learn that it's much easier to "build" an well-structured paragraph than it is to revise a disorganized paragraph. Like training wheels on a bicycle, working with scrambled paragraphs helps students understand the importance of writing their own ideas in a clear, logical manner.
Even reluctant writers will experience success with these activities and gain confidence. These kid-friendly activities also help with the following skill areas:
-- constructing extended essay responses,
-- main idea,
-- context clues,
-- identifying general/supporting details, and
-- staying on prompt.
I've taught writing for over two decades. Each year there are a few students who believe they can't write. Once they begin working with someone else's words they realize how easy it is to put together a logical and complete paragraph.
After a little practice with bridging activities like this, students are ready to write their own paragraphs. Using personal knowledge and their new-found skills, even timid writers are able to compose an eight-sentence paragraph containing appropriate details.
As their confidence builds, students are able to transfer these new writing skills. Within a short time, even the most writing-adverse students are ready to compose extended, informative/explanatory responses to text. Finally, students learn how to apply these same skills to narrative and opinion (persuasive) writing.
Students who love writing will quickly grasp this structured process for creating a well-organized paragraph. Good writers can be challenged to respond to more difficult prompts. They can also be encouraged to include additional details and/or figurative language.
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IMPORTANT NOTE: This resource has been saved in a format that allows for printing in high resolution. However, file contents may NOT be changed, copied, or extracted. This file is NOT editable.
This product relates to the following CCSS standard(s). Please note that this list may represent only a partial list of all standards and/or strands that apply:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 - 6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2c - 6.2c Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 - 6.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5 - 6.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8 - 6.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6.7-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
It all starts with this cut-and-paste, hands-on activity. It's easy and fun. And, it really works. I hope you'll give it a try!
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