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Lesson Objective

SWBAT identify the parts of a five-paragraph essay.

Lesson Plan


SWBAT identify the parts of a five-paragraph essay.

Essential Questions:

• How can I make my ideas most clear while I write?
• What is the usual pattern of ideas laid out in a five paragraph essay?


“Marking up a five-paragraph essay.”


LCD projector, powerpoint
Notes, example 5-paragraph essays
Homework sheets

Lesson Plan: I Do

Teacher walks through a powerpoint that corresponds to students’ notes sheets. Students label the parts of a five-paragraph essay that the teacher reads aloud.

Lesson Plan: We Do Together

Students read through a second five-paragraph essay on their own and label it as best they can (with elbow buddies in certain classrooms). Teacher takes volunteers to come up with a thorough and complete labeling of the essay.

Students then form into groups and work on labeling a third example essay.

Lesson Plan: You Do

Students re-form into rows, complete a brief exit slip asking pertinent questions about the 5P essay.

1. What went well?

2. What would you change?

3. What needs explanation?

At first I was skeptical in the extreme about using the terms bing, bang, and bongo to represent the parts of the essay's outline. But it's actually a very useful technique, if only so you can avoid saying "the main idea of the first body paragraph" over and over again. This gave my students a stronger command of the same concept faster.

 The powerpoint is, to be honest, too long... it wears on student attention. I didn't find much of an effective way to get through the objective in a robust way that was shorter. But you should feel free to try that out... it'd be worth it for your students.

Also, the way that I've structured the guided practice, a lot of the kids end up right just by labeling parts of the essay based on where they appear--they don't read them or get the feel of the essay's meaning much. So that might bear some restructuring.

 The objective here is just to be able to label someone else's five-paragraph essay, but the learning's meaningless unless it's tied to the students' subsequent writing of such an essay themselves. I did this in a cross-curricular project, having students write about evolution as they were learning about it in their science classes. But any given topic could work with similar lessons.

Lesson Resources

Lesson 5Paragraphs  
5 paragraph essay  


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