While reading my students' drafts, I noticed that they were missing a concluding sentence. When they ran out of things to write, that was it. They sounded unfinished. The standards specifically state that students are able to add a concluding statement so I wanted to be sure they added this very important piece to their writing.
I started by placing my draft I’d been using throughout the writing lessons on the document camera. I did not include a concluding statement when I wrote my draft in anticipation of this lesson. I modeled reading it aloud and emphasizing that it sounded incomplete as written. I told students that the last sentence is called a concluding statement and it wraps up the topic of a paragraph. I stated that my paragraph listed interesting facts about Wave Rock. I then added the concluding statement, “It is a very interesting landform.” I re-read my paragraph aloud again, noting that it now sounded complete with the added concluding sentence.
As students continued working on their writing, they added their concluding sentences. I walked around and assisted students as needed. Some concluding sentences were as simple as, “That is all about _____________ .” This was appropriate since this was their first time adding a concluding statement and their tone, as they read it aloud, provided a sense of finality. We would work on being more specific in a future lesson.
For assessment, I read over students' paragraphs and noted whether or not they had added a concluding sentence. The rubric I will use at the conclusion of their paragraphs assesses the inclusion of a concluding statement.
To close the lesson, students read their concluding statements to a partner. This gave them an opportunity to hear other statements. If they did not have a concluding statement or wanted to change it, they got some ideas.