What is a paragraph?

What is a paragraph?
• A paragraph is made up of a group
of sentences focused on ONE topic.
Topic Sentence...
• A topic sentence tells the reader what a
paragraph is going to talk about.
• A topic sentence is usually the first
sentence of the paragraph.
• A topic sentence helps the writer focus
his/her thoughts.
• Formula = State topic + Specific Detail
The Wizard of Oz as an Example
• A tornado carries a girl and her dog from their
home to another land.
• https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=iw#hl=en&q=wizard+of+oz+
Types of Topic Sentences
Type of
Set the
Overview or specific
preview to be discussed
in the paragraph
The holiday of Thanksgiving is a tradition
started by the Pilgrims and Indians who
together shared the fruits of the newly
settled America.
Can you believe the first Thanksgiving was
almost four hundred years ago!
Shocking statement
or interesting fact
Vivid Details
Description of a
connected event
Hot juicy turkey, ruby red cranberries and
spiced pumpkin pie are some of the tasty
dishes that make up Thanksgiving.
Tell Your
Talk to the reader tell
your personal
to the topic
Ask a question
connected to the topic
My favorite holiday of all is Thanksgiving;
when I think of Thanksgiving, I think of food,
family and fun.
What would America be like today if there
had never been the first Thanksgiving?
Overview or Specific Preview:
Wizard of Oz example: Dorothy and her faithful friend,
Toto, are rescued by a tornado that wisks them off to a
seemingly safe fantasy world.
Wizard of Oz example: The wind speed of a tornado,
which sometimes exceeds 200 mph, is caused by the
extremely sharp pressure decrease inside the vortex,
which acts like a giant vacuum.
Vivid Details:
Hit then with
the adjectives
Wizard of Oz example: Out of nowhere a whirling tornado
wisks an innocent girl, Dorothy, and her canine companion,
Toto, from their home in Kansas and deposits them in an
enchanting land of make believe.
Personal Story:
Once Upon
a time…
Wizard of Oz Example: Pretend you and your dog are
snatched away by a tornado and wind up in a land of
make believe.
Wizard of Oz example: Would you believe that a
tornado could steal an innocent girl and her dog?
Three Finger Questions
1. “This movie is about a father’s desperate
attempt to find his son with only the
help of Dory, a very forgetful fish.” The
above topic sentence is an example of
which type of topic sentence?
a) Set the Scene - Overview or Preview
b) Shocker
c) Question
Three Finger Questions
2. “My favorite character in the movie ‘The
Wizard of Oz’ is the cowardly lion
because he reminds me of my cousin.”
The above topic sentence is an example
of which type of topic sentence?
a) Set the Scene - Overview or Preview
b) Personal Connection
c) Question
Three Finger Questions
3. “Each year nearly 1 million Americans are
victims of auto theft.” The above topic
sentence is an example of which type of
topic sentence?
a) Personal Connection
b) Question
c) Shocker

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