The beginning of this lesson is very easy because they have already done the majority of the writing on previous days. This lesson is to take that writing and put it all together.
I start with a review of the two previous lessons on details and topic sentences. I then ask them to read their topic sentence. I ask for a thumbs up, sideways, or down if they are happy with what they wrote previously and if it still makes sense. I do the same with details and their closing.
On the white board, I ask them to try to help me list which one of these should be written first, second, and last. I want them to also give me an explanation for why they chose that order.
In this section of the lesson we cut apart our previously written pieces. They should have one topic sentence, three details, and one closing sentence to cut out. Before they cut, I ask them to put a T: next to their topic sentence and a C: next to their closing sentence. This helps when you are walking around helping them. I can determine what guidance they need faster if I do not have to figure out which they meant for each.
Once they have them cut apart I let them explore with how they might put them together. Most of the time students can do this fairly accurately. There are always a few who try to put their details first because they feel that this is the most important part and so it goes first. I have also had some explain that it is the largest piece so it should go first. This is why I observe what they are doing. I do not ever tell them the right way, but I will ask them questions to get them thinking.
The next step is guided practice. I will ask for help and have them help me put together a cut up paragraph. During this time, I am consistently asking them why and reading it out loud over and over. Once the correct order has been determined, I then think aloud the next step. I reread it now that its all put together and decide if it makes sense the way I have it. It is important to model one thing that might need changing so they are encouraged to make changes to their own.
The final piece is the actual writing of their paragraph. They will know rewrite their pieces all together as one. I remind students to write neatly and to take their time. I want to see how much their writing can change from the cut up pieces to their finished paragraph.
Due to this being their first paragraph, I look for a topic sentence, three details, and a closing as prat of their grade. I give 2 points for each for a total of 8. I then give two points for writing neatly and creating a well put together paragraph.