All Aboard! All Aboard! The Essay Train All aboard! All aboard! Ride the English Trax! Come and enjoy a train ride with The Little Engine That Could and learn how to create a five-paragraph essay train.
Introducing the Incredible RBT-2000 Students work cooperatively to construct a miniature robot using recyclable materials. They individually write a descriptive explanation from the robot's point of view explaining how it will aid in protecting the environment. An well-constructed topic sentence will significantly boost the effectiveness of this project.
Writing Powerful Topic Sentences This lesson teaches students how to write a strong topic sentence in an expository paragraph or essay using questioning. May need to adapt example topics for 4th grade.
Writer's Block: This activity gives students a topic that they write about. Their responses are posted for other children to see. It would be very useful in showing kids the importance of an appropriate topic sentence.
Captions: Here's an idea for jumpstarting writing.
(E/B) Let students work with a buddy to do their writing together. The buddy can write down what they say.
(E/B) Allow child to dictate, as appropriate. As skills emerge, child writes words and phrases. Accept phonetic invented spelling, but model correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
(E/B) Allow students to draw a picture, only write a word or two, or write some words in their native language.
(E/B) When writing a story, have students use a story sequence map to brainstorm ideas for writing a story (Teacher models first.). Ask students to use words, but allow them to use illustrations as well. Provide writing frames to create sentences that represent the scenes (i.e. In the beginning ___________ , etc.).
(D) Have child draw and label, or act out and describe ideas. Help child learn and write the words he or she needs.
(D) Let students work with a buddy to write their topic sentence together.
(D) Child writes a simple topic sentence. Help child turn a phrase or incomplete sentence into a complete sentence. Accept phonetic invented spelling, but show correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
(D, E) Students work with partners to take notes on a particular reading and then outline the notes for understanding.
(E/B, D) Give them a vocabulary box (and draw a simple picture for each word) for them to use in their writing.
(E/B, D) Have students use a topic from a teacher-led map of ideas for prewriting, or their own writing map/graphic organizer.Allow students to draw a picture, only write a a few words, or write some words in their native language.
(D, E) Let students work with a buddy to do their writing together.
(E) Have students use a topic from a teacher-led map of ideas for prewriting, or their own writing map/graphic organizer.
(E/B, D, E) Have students use a topic from a teacher-led map of ideas or their own writing map/graphic organizer to write their topic sentence.
(E/B, D, E) Students use pre-written words (i.e. a word box, word walls, etc.) to create sentences.
Some of the above ELL suggestions came from the following resources:
Scott Foresman Reading Street ELL and Transition Handbook Grades 3-6
A Guide to the Standard Course of Study for Limited English Proficient Students / Grades K-5 (Public Schools of N.C.)