Writing a Paragraph Background Information for Teachers and Parents

Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about writing a paragraph. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Writing a Paragraph. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Remind students that the main idea of an informational paragraph is the topic, or subject of the piece. The thesis statement, or topic sentence, sets up and states the main idea of the paragraph and tells the reader what to expect from the paragraph. Supporting details back up the main idea. Specific examples help make the main idea clear to the reader. Remind students that they should give at least three supporting detail sentences. Students can come up with supporting details by posing their main idea as a question: “How do you know _______?” The closing sentence is the conclusion, or ending of the paragraph. The closing sentence should tie all the ideas in the paragraph together. Strong closing sentences echo the main idea but also expand the writer’s thesis. Encourage your students to incorporate personal opinions, predictions, or inferences in their closing sentences.

The final step to writing a paragraph is to proofread. Remind your students that their writing should be legible if they are handwritten and free of errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You may want to review common grammatical mistakes and discuss different punctuation marks. We recommend watching the Types of Sentences movie together as a review. Make sure dictionaries are available to children so they can check their spelling.

Writing can be an overwhelming experience for some students, so it is important that you encourage and empower your children by giving them the tools and information they need to build their writing skills and their confidence. You may want to review different prewriting skills with students, such as brainstorming techniques, journaling, and graphic organizers.

The easiest way to get children excited and familiar with writing is to practice writing. Have your children write a few sentences each day or keep a diary or journal. Incorporating writing into daily activities will help them become better, more confident writers.