Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Too Big, Too Small, Or Just Right? How to Develop a Topic

We watched a read aloud of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The story led us to a great conversation about having topics that are just the right size. Students cannot write three paragraphs about a topic that is too small. Students also cannot write three paragraphs about a topic that is not specific enough. And finally, we realized it is hard to convince anyone of anything if it does not sound appealing.

From here, we introduced just one student's sentence to decide if the sentence's topic and main idea would be just right for a five paragraph essay. 

Today’s Example: Too big.
If you enjoy the outside, then snowball fighting may be excellent for you.

Topic: Snowball fighting
Main Idea: Snowball fighting is excellent if you love the outdoors.
Corrected: If you enjoy playing with your friends outside when the cold air hits, then you should try snowball fighting.

The children quickly realized that enjoying the outside did not constitute snowball fighting, but we had a harder time determining what did. We knew we had to add in the cold weather, but what else? They all agreed it should be something about friends.

Finally, we returned to the Topic Sentence writing homework to determine if topics were, Too Big, Too Small, or Just Right? This week students were given their old sentences to fix. They had to find the topic and main idea of the original sentence. Then, decide if it was too big or too small and fix it.

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