Types of Paragraphs

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Identify descriptive, narrative and expository paragraphs to note the differences.

Information for Teachers

·         A paragraph is a group of sentences which all relate to one main idea or topic.
·         A descriptive paragraphhas sentences that present a (description) of a person, a place, a thing, an event, or an idea. Five senses are used to describe the person and things.
·         A narrative paragraph often tells a story. It has events told in proper order. It has actions, characters, a setting and a problem to solve.
·         An expository paragraphis where we give information to explain something, give directions or instructions, or show how something works.
·         Persuasive paragraph: to influence/ to persuade 
·         While teaching the lesson, the teacher should also consult textbook at all steps where and when required.

Material / Resources

Chalk/marker, board, textbook, scotch tape, many strips of paper, flash cards

Worm up activity

·         Ask students about the three types of paragraphs they have learnt in previous classes and their meanings.
·         Recap their knowledge and inform students clearly that narratives are written like stories. They have characters, a problem or conflict to solve, some actions and a proper setting.
·         Descriptive paragraphs describe objects or persons or places or events and use adjectives (to describe).
·         Expository paragraphs explain a concept or procedure or a process e.g. making omelet or explain the importance of things (like they did for trees in previous class). Transitional words are used to write an explanation of a process or procedure.
·         Ask students which one they prefer to read and write. Ask them to vote for each one by one a show of hands (that is, by raising their hands).
·         Inform the students we can do it like a story or we can describe or explain something.
·         Draw three columns on the board like this:
·         Under each column, write examples for each. Ask students to give examples too. Like this:
Cinderella, The Hair & the Tortoise, Aladdin
An essay on Pakistan, on Spring Season
Recipes, Instructions to fix something, Caring for the environment


Activity 1

·         Inform the students that you are going to discuss how to write a paragraph like a story, or describe something or explain something, that day.
·         Make flash cards of the following sentences and show them to the students. Students read the sentences aloud.
1)      I have a beautiful pink and blue pencil box.
2)      One day, I went for shopping with my parents. We bought fruits, vegetables and sweets.
3)      Trees are an important part of our world.
(Answers: 1. Descriptive,          2. Narrative,         3. Expository
·         Tell the students that these are topic sentences for each paragraph and more ideas will be added to each, later to, make a paragraph.
·         Teach the students the meaning of the three words (Descriptive: to give description; Narrative: like a story; Expository: explaining or giving explanation.
·         Students repeat the meanings with you.

Activity 2

·         Take ideas from students to add to each topic sentence one by one. Discuss the ideas for each type of paragraph.
·         Inform the students that:
o   To write descriptive paragraphs, we must use adjectives, and five senses.
o    To write narrative paragraphs, we must have events in mind that we want to write about.
o   To write expository paragraph we need transitional words such as ‘next’, ‘again’, ‘later’, ‘first’, etc.
·         Divide the class into groups of six members each.
·         Give three strips of paper to each group of students.
·         Ask the students to write their ideas on the paper for all three types of paragraphs and come forward and paste the strips under the right column.
·         Focus of this activity is to identify the three types of paragraphs and the type of words used to write them.
·         Correct the sentences when the students are pasting them on the board.

Activity 3

·         Divide the class into six groups.
·         Two groups write a narrative paragraph, two groups write descriptive paragraph and remaining two groups write an expository paragraph.
·         Take ideas from students about the topic to be written for each paragraph. This will tell you how much they have understood the concept and the differences among the three paragraphs.

Activity 4

·         Members of groups come forward and share their paragraphs with class.
·         Focus of this activity is to identify the three types of paragraphs and the types of words used to write them.
·         In place of this activity, you can also ask students to open their textbooks and identify the three types of paragraphs from the book.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Ask the meanings of three types of paragraphs and tell the differences among them.


·         Through students’ oral feedback and written work, determine whether they have been able to understand each type of paragraph.

Follow up

·         Students re-write the paragraph they have written in their group, in their notebooks.

Leave a Comment