Paragraph Unity

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Recognize each paragraph in a text as a separate meaningful unit of expression.

Information for Teachers

·         Paragraph: A paragraph is a chain of sentences that are organized and logical, and are all connected to a single topic.
·        A worthy paragraph contains:
o   A Topic Sentence:  this is the main idea or subject of the writing.
o   Detail Sentence: these are the sentences that describe and give more detail about the main idea.
o   Logical Order: the sentences have to be put together in a way that makes sense.
·         Paragraph unity: Paragraph unity is the most significant characteristic of a good paragraph. It describes that all sentences in a paragraph should speak about one single notion or one main subject. That is, the topic sentence, the supporting information, and the ending sentence should focus on only one idea.
·         Unity of Thought:  unity of thought means that all ideas are connected and relate to one topic.
·         This lesson will provide the students with the opportunity to visualize how each sentence must relate to and help develop the main idea which is usually found in the topic sentence.

Material / Resources

Chalk/marker, duster, board, colored chalk, textbook

Worm up activity

·         Make a fan on the board, the base on the top.
·         Note: putting the base at the top will help the students since at this stage of their writing development they usually put the topic sentence first.
·         Write the topic sentence on the top of the fan.
·         Now ask the students to brainstorm t tell sentences which relate to the same idea.
·         Write these sentences down under the arrows.
·         Add all the sentences that students tell:
·         Possible answers:
o   It has tall buildings.
o   It has a river nearby where I go for boating.
o   Lovely oranges grow in my hometown.
o   The people are very kind.
o   It has a famous market.
o   It has a park in each block.
o   Mostly people of my hometown are businessmen.
o   There are good restaurants in my hometown.
·         Now check the responses of the students and with the help of the students.
·         Now, omit the sentences that don’t relate it to the main idea of the paragraph.


Activity 1

·         Ask the students to look at the board and see that all the sentences that connect to the main idea are not in any order.
·         Tell the students that it is very important for a paragraph to be in any order so that it would make sense to the reader.
·         The students write the discussed topic sentence in their notebooks.
·         Students will write the related sentences written on the board in a correct order. The students can write it in this way.

Activity 2

·         Copy the activity on the board.
·         Ask the students to copy the sentences in their notebooks.
·         Students have to read the sentences from a narrative paragraph.
·         Some of the sentences are out of order.
·         Number the sentences from 1 – 10 show logical time order.
·         Solve the first sentence on the board for the students.
o   …….5… My family cried with joy when they met me because I had been gone for so long.
o   …….1…..I will never forget one day when I had to travel alone on the train.
o   …….2….My cousin was getting married, so I had to go.
o   …….6….After the wedding, I took the train to come back home.
o   …….3…. She lived in Bahawalpur.
o   ……4…. I reached Bahawalpur late at night.
o   ……7…. I was tired and fell asleep on the way back home.
o   …..8….It took me five hours to get back home.
·         Help the students where needed.
·         Appreciate all students’ efforts.

Activity 3

·         Write two paragraphs on the board, or display them on a chart in class.
·         There is one irrelevant sentence in each paragraph.
·         Ask the students to work in pairs to find them. The answer is highlighted for the teacher.
1.       Many people think that the camel stores water in its hump, but in fact it doesn’t. Instead it stores something else there- food.
The camel’s hump is really a hump of fat.
Human should not eat too much fat; it’s unhealthy. When the camel is travelling across the desert and food is scare, it can live off the stored fat in its hump.
2.       The flying fish doesn’t actually fly; it glides on its broad fins. Bats are able to fly at night, but not because they have good eyesight. As a bat flies it makes a high squeaking sound, unable to hear by human ears. As the sound travels outwards, in hits objects and bounces back. These sound waves tell the bat where objects are so that they can be avoided. So bats can fly safely at night by using their ears and not their eyes.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Discuss with students as to why there should be connectivity in a paragraph.
·         Elicit from students about irrelevant sentences and the order of sentences.


·         Ask the students to underline the irrelevant sentences in the following paragraphs:
o   Although an Octopus has eight arms, it doesn’t use them for swimming. It uses its arms to catch food. In order to move in the water, an octopus squirts water out from a tube just under its head. Spiders have eight legs.
·         Ask students to write a paragraph by first writing a topic sentence and three other sentences on a given topic.

Follow up

·         Have the students write their own paragraph on their fans (as practiced in the worm up activity in this lesson)
·         Let students work in groups of 2 or 3 to check for sentences that don’t belong, before sharing their paragraphs with the class.

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