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How to teach paragraphs

Unit 8


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Learning to write in paragraphs begins in Year 1 and features right the way through the primary curriculum, and we begin this session by charting that development. There are a number of approaches to teaching paragraphs and we take a look at some of the methods and models that support this. The TiPToP mnemonic is useful for showing how to group related material, the burger diagram helps children to understand structure either within or between paragraphs, and a traffic light visual illustrates how to develop topic sentences. We’re shown examples of how to model writing paragraphs to pupils by examining texts and breaking down the techniques used by the author. There’s also an explanation of how children can develop their writing by constructing paragraphs around a series of images - from David Wieser’s Tuesday in this example. Lastly, the importance of cohesive devices is explored in some detail, looking closely at model texts and how techniques such as using pronouns to avoid repetition and synonyms to vary paragraphs can improve children’s writing.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

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Training Handout - Download

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Course Creator

Image of Shareen Wilkinson

Shareen Wilkinson

An experienced primary school teacher and senior leader, Shareen currently runs a successful education consultancy in London. Working with LAs across the country, she has an extensive track record of raising standards in English. Writing and advising for Letts, HarperCollins, Rising Stars and OUP, Shareen also acts as a subject expert on reading and grammar for the DfE.

About the Course

These sessions focus on deepening and developing subject knowledge in primary English. Key areas (e.g. grammar, writing and spelling) are explored in depth, so that teachers can feel confident when delivering them in the classroom, and there are plenty of practical ideas to try too.

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