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The Parts of a Paragraph. Piecing It Together Coherently. With paragraphs from Houghton Mifflin Text p. 331-333. Writing Informational Paragraphs.

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The parts of a paragraph

The Parts of a Paragraph

Piecing It Together Coherently

With paragraphs from

Houghton Mifflin Text p. 331-333


Writing informational paragraphs
Writing Informational Paragraphs

A paragraph that gives factual information is called an informational paragraph. The writer’s purpose is to share information about a topic. An informational paragraph has a topic and a main idea. The topic is the subject of the paragraph. The main idea is what the writer wants to say about the topic.


What is the topic of the paragraph below what is the main idea
What is the topic of the paragraph below? What is the main idea?

TOPIC: The capybara

MAIN IDEA: The capybara is an unusual-looking animal.

The capybara is an unusual-looking animal. It has a large head with a blunt, square nose and jaw. Its front legs are slightly shorter than its hind legs, and its toes are webbed. The capybara has a thick body that is covered with rough hair and ends in a short tail. It grows up to four feet long and may weigh more than one hundred pounds, about the size of a small pig. If animals had beauty contests, the capybara probably wouldn’t win!

Can you find the sentence that states the main idea?

Topic Sentence

Supporting Sentences

Closing Sentence


Oh no the paragraph below is missing a topic sentence
Oh No! The paragraph below is missing a topic sentence. idea?

Read the paragraph. What is the topic?What is the main idea?

What do you think would be a good topic sentence?

The top layer is usually waxy or tough, which helps keep water inside the leaf. The middle layer is where a leaf makes its food. The bottom layer contains tiny holes, which allow water vapor, oxygen, and other gases to go in and out of the leaf. Together these layers work to make the leaf strong and healthy.


Oh no this one too
Oh No! This one too! idea?

Read the paragraph. What is the topic?What is the main idea?

What do you think would be a good topic sentence?

The White House, where the President lives and works, is located in Washington, D.C. The city also has monuments to three American presidents- The Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. Famous buildings there include the United States Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the museums of the Smithsonian Institution. You will need at least a week to see most of this city’s historic spots.


Parts of a good paragraph fit together like a puzzle
Parts of a good paragraph fit together like a puzzle. idea?

Main Idea

Supporting Sentences

Closing Sentence


Supporting sentences
Supporting Sentences idea?

Supporting Sentences usually follow the topic sentence. They contain details that explain the main idea. In informational writing, some details are facts, such as numbers. Facts can be proved true. Other details are sensory words that describe how things look, smell, feel, taste, and sound.


Read the paragraph below
Read the paragraph below. idea?

What facts do you find about roller coasters? What sensory words?

Roller coasters are built to scare you. Some are 400 feet high and 5,000 feet long. A coaster’s hair-raising speed can strike fear into a rider’s heart. A California coaster, for example, zips around at 100 miles per hour. Scariest of all are the steep drops. On some coasters, the fall can be 200 feet. That’s like dropping from a 10-story building! No wonder people scream!


The closing sentence
The closing Sentence idea?

The closing sentence wraps up the paragraph by repeating the main idea in different words or by adding one last comment.


The paragraph below leaves the reader hanging
The paragraph below leaves the reader hanging! idea?

Can you add a closing sentence to wrap it up?

Exercise is a healthful activity. For one thing, it helps your circulatory system. As you exercise, your heart beats faster, and your heart muscle becomes stronger. Exercise also helps prevent your arteries from becoming clogged with fat. Finally, exercise helps you sleep better, so you wake up feeling ready to go.


Can you write a good paragraph using the information below
Can you write a good paragraph using the information below? idea?

Don’t forget all the pieces: Topic sentence, supporting details, and closing sentence!

Topic: Bald Eagle

Main Idea: Bald Eagle is equipped with tools to be a fierce hunter.

Sharp eyesight for spotting prey from the air

Curved, pointed beak, more than two inches long; extremely powerful

Featherless legs and talons for ease in grabbing fish out of water

Strong talons for catching and holding onto prey


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