Shared paragraph writing (PDF, 28 KB)
The purpose of the activity
Shared paragraph writing enables the learners to write together, helping one another to work through the process of structuring content and selecting the most appropriate language.
In this activity, the learners work in small groups, taking turns in different roles to construct a paragraph.
The teaching points
The learners reflect on the appropriateness of the language they use and the sequence of ideas.
- A list of acronyms or other supports as needed.
The guided teaching and learning sequence
1. Explain the purpose for writing and the form of paragraph to be used (perhaps using models, templates or acronyms as explained in previous activities).
2. Organise the learners into small groups. Give each group a subject or topic and perhaps some subject-specific vocabulary to use.
3. Each learner takes a turn to dictate a sentence to the others in their group. For example, if they use the SEE acronym, one learner composes the factual statement, another composes the explanation, and a third gives the example.
4. The group discusses their sentences, and the learners make changes where necessary to construct a good paragraph (one that meets the purpose, includes all elements, and is connected, engaging and concise).
5. The whole group shares and analyses the paragraphs that they have constructed.
If the purpose of the writing task is to give a point of view or write an argument provide a proposition that relates to the issue. On a strip of paper, each learner in a group then writes a sentence supporting the proposition. The group studies all the sentences and decides how to sequence and modify the sentences to construct a cohesive and coherent paragraph (an alternative is for each learner to write the sentence on a page that is passed around the members of the group to add their sentence to).
Give the groups five key words to include when they write their paragraph.