The only thing more common in student writing than a run-on sentence is probably the run-on paragraph. Yep…run and run and run and run. And it isn’t the sweet student’s fault! (I have spent twenty years trying to help amazing kids not to be stressed about grammar—I would never blame them! 🙂 ) Paragraph breaking is often not taught well. (I know I wasn’t taught it—I can remember eye-ball measuring my text to see when I should start a new paragraph when I was in school!) This is why we emphasize deciding on what each paragraph will contain ahead of time (and why when kids in our classes do not write their Topic of Paragraph on the outlining space provided for that, they get docked one LETTER grade per missing paragraph topic line; it’s that important!).
This week’s teaching video shows me teaching one of the paragraph break methods I use in my books and classes—The Paragraph Train Analogy. Watch and see if it doesn’t make way more sense to you afterward!
Love and hope,
P.S. What tricks have you found helpful for teaching paragraph breaks? How do you keep students from rambling when they write? How can I help you on this blog with your writing instruction?