Writing Mini Lesson #6- Relevant Details

Are you ready for your next mini lesson?  The previous paragraph writing lesson was on topic sentences which leads us into:


1.  Teach:  Within a paragraph, writers need to STICK TO THE TOPIC.  This means that everything in the paragraph is related to the topic sentence and is IMPORTANT!

  • These details support the topic and give the writing true meaning.
  • It creates imagery, a picture in the reader’s mind.
  • This is the perfect place to include personal experiences or detailed examples.
For example:

Paragraph:  Summer weather lets me play outside.  I have fun under the sprinkler with my brother.  We run through the water and scream each time!  It is refreshing to swim in the lake too.  At night, I play hide and seek with my friends.  I usually hide behind a big bush.  I love when the weather is warm!

2.  Take Notes:  Students should take notes and show examples.  VIP-P- very important piece to the paragraph!  This provides students with a future reference when writing paragraphs.

how to write relevant details in a paragraph

3.  Apply:  Students should write a paragraph independently or in partners and highlight the relevant details.  Then share with a small group or class.

4.  Go Deeper:  This is the perfect time to also teach about using TRANSITION WORDS or use it for differentiation. Transition words help sequence or organize the relevant details.  They create a smooth and logical flow of the writing.  Transit- means pass through.


a list of transition words

This may also be a good time to explain clauses and phrases to upper elementary students.

A phrase is a group of words that may have nouns or verbs, but it does not have a subject.

leaving behind the cat
smashing into a wall
before the next movie
after the war

A clause is a group of words in a sentence that has a subject and predicate. Some clauses may stand alone as their own sentence!

since she runs to music
when the saints go marching in
because he made the last shot
I dislike bullies

    5.  Practice:  Practice identifying relevant details, irrelevant details, and transition words.  Also practice writing relevant details and transitions words.  Task cards are an effective way for students to practice during center time.  You are welcome to use the examples below when creating materials for your own class.

    6.  Assessment and Tracking:  Assess some of the students’ work and track their progress.  This will be useful for future small instructional groups and review.

    I hope this helps you and your students when writing relevant details and transition words in a paragraph!  The next lesson is on CLOSING SENTENCES.

    Do you need a complete NO PREP Sentence Structure AND Paragraph Unit?  There are anchor charts, interactive notebooks pages, practice worksheets, and task cards for each of the following:  Complete Sentences, Fragments, Run-Ons, Topic Sentences, Rockin Beginnings, Indents, Relevant Details, Transition Words, Closing Sentences, and Clinchers!  As a Bonus- hamburger graphic organizer, and assessment!

    topic sentence, relevant details, closing sentence

    This is a small section of our writing program.

    paragraph writing, narrative writing, opinion writing, informative writing, a complete writing program

    ROCK ‘N’ WRITE!!!!!

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