Paragraph Writing: A Creative Way to Build Confidence

The summertime is a wonderful time to help your child learn how to write sentences and paragraphs, which follow a logical sequence and include interesting details.

Children typically need to be encouraged to write. Students who believe they have interesting ideas and can write well generally develop their written language skills at a faster rate.

The initial step in helping your child to develop their written language paragraph writing skills is to ask your child to examine and study a picture you choose for them. Most written language assignments will include a picture to write about at the elementary and middle school level.

Spark Ideas

Ask your child the question, “What do you see in the picture?” Then ask, “What is happening in the picture?” Then ask your child, “What can you say about what is happening in the picture?” As your child answers your questions orally write down some of their answers on a scratch piece of paper. Next, go over their answers with your child and talk about their perceptions of the picture. If your child added details that are not in the picture, then nicely point out which details do not fit the picture.

Help Getting Started

Next, show your son or daughter how to write a quality opening sentence that describes the picture on their assignment. Numerous students with learning issues or those who struggle in school do not always understand how to write an excellent opening sentence. Talk about the opening sentence with your child and prompt them to study what is happening in the picture for a minute or two.

Instruct your child to include the main idea of the picture in their opening sentence.

The Middle

Ask your child to focus their middle sentences on two or three main ideas or details found in the assigned picture. The middle sentences can be made more interesting if they include a cause and effect or “because statement”. Often children can say the sentences orally better then they can write them.

Hint: If writing is a difficult area ask your child verbally to tell you the detail and stop them and say the detail back to them as they write it.


Use a thesaurus to help them locate two or three strong nouns or verbs, which can replace the more common ones they used.

Next, the student may wish to add a detail sentence or two about the sentences they have already written. Aim for five to seven sentence paragraphs and in some cases nine sentences.

The Ending

Lastly, ask your child to close the paragraph with a good sentence that answers the why or restates the opening sentence. Some students may wish to make a prediction about the subject of the paragraph in their closing sentence.

Parents it is important to complement your child on their effort and reread their paragraph with them for clarity.

If sequencing changes should be made, then nicely point out why the order should be different.

Thanks for joining me this past week on I wish to complement all the readers of my posts for your diligence in researching information to help your child reach their scholastic potential. May you have a happy, fun-filled, educational summer with your children.


Published on: May 10, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Barbara Dianis

Barbara Dianis, MA ED, overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. As CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems she has influenced society to view students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome their learning issues if they are taught properly. She is the author of Don't Count Me Out!.

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