Creating a Topic Sentence

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SWBAT create a topic sentence to match a specific paragraph.

Big Idea

Begin the creation of a complex research project by laying the foundation for how to create an appropriate topic sentence.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The standard I am focusing on in this lesson is W1.8 (Research Writing), and this is the fourth lesson in this unit. I noticed in previous lessons that my students need work on the topic sentence in  writing their research paper. So, I think begin by teaching a prerequisite skill that must be taught prior to writing a research paper even with the teacher's support.

Lesson Overview

Today, the students work in small groups within the whole group to analyze some paragraphs and add our own topic sentence. Then the students work with their partner to add their topic sentence to new paragraphs.

The students work with their Peanut Butter Jelly Partner throughout the lesson and move often. I have a video on peanut butter jelly partners and Transition in the resources.

Now, I want to talk about my lesson image. One way I motivate my students is by projecting their pictures on the Smart Board, and I put them on my student computers. They love to see themselves. It also really shows them that I care about them. It just adds a real closeness and personalizes my classroom environment. So, this is the lesson image I have on the Smart Board today. It is one of my students hugging a kindergartner.

Introductory Activity

At this point I am trying to engage my class, so I project the lesson image on the Smart Board and ask my class to discuss why we have to create a topic sentence. I hope they say because we need to let the reader know what we are going to be informing them about. I listen so I can assess their prior knowledge and either add more support or back off a little in the lesson.

Then we chant to lesson goal to focus the class on the issue of paraphrasing. We say, "I can add a topic sentence to an informational paragraph." We actually chant it three times.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I take the website article and delete the topic sentence from four of the paragraphs. I selected karate, because my students are very interested in the topic. Then my students work with a partner to create a topic sentence for each paragraph. They work on one paragraph at a time. Then somebody shares their work. We evaluate it through a class discussion. Then I add the work to the paragraph. We continue the process for the next three paragraphs. I have pictures of our work (Smart Board Work 1Smart Board Work 2, and Smart Board Work 3).

Partner Work

20 minutes

I chose this article and allow the students to work with their partner to add a topic sentence to three paragraphs.  I copied and pasted the article in to a document where I can erase the topic sentence. This allows my students to create their own.

Student Reflection

5 minutes


5 minutes