Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Paragraph Elaboration and Examples

Joanne Anderson


Using prompts, the student supports expository paragraphs with examples and elaboration.


The student develops anecdotes or examples to support and elaborate upon reasons.


-Overhead projector (make sure the bulb is working)
-Blank overhead transparencies
-2 Overhead pens, any color
-Prompts prepared on overhead transparency (See Associated File)
-Criteria displayed on overhead transparency (See Associated File)


1. Obtain an overhead projector with a working bulb.
2. Get blank overheads.
3. Have overhead writing pens.
4. Download and copy prompts (See Associated File) to make an overhead transparency.
5. Prepare a list of students to put in groups that work well together. The number in each group is the teacher's choice.
6. Display criteria on an overhead transparency. (See Associated File)


1. Use the partially completed prompt (See Associated File) and tell students you completed this prompt. Ask if they are satisfied with it. (You are looking for the response that this prompt needs more examples and elaboration.) When students indicate that they don't feel like the prompt is complete, ask, “What can be done to make this prompt complete?” Take suggestions from the students and write on the overhead to complete the prompt. Reread the prompt when completed and ask how the examples and elaboration improved the writing.

2. Ask, “Why is it necessary to have examples to support ideas in writing?” Discuss their comments, directing their ideas toward your goal of elaboration and adding details to substantiate writing.

3. Present the given criteria (See Associated File) to judge examples and elaboration about a prompt.

4. Use one of the prompts (See Associated File) on the overhead and model what the students are expected to do. Demonstrate brainstorming for an idea, writing the idea with its examples and elaboration on the overhead and then rereading it aloud to see if it meets the given criteria.

5. Give students a prompt on the overhead (See Associated File) to copy and complete with examples and elaboration following the given criteria.

6. Circulate the room and conference with students as they are writing.

7. Upon completion of the writing assignment, group students together to discuss and read their writings. Each person will be told something positive about their writing from the other group members. Then the writer tells the group why they feel they met the criteria for this lesson. Each group picks 1 or 2 examples from their writings to be read aloud to the entire class.

8. Call on each group to present their examples. The class tells the author something positive about the writing and then uses the criteria on the overhead to decide if the prompt was given the examples and elaboration needed to make the paragraph complete.

9. Collect the papers to comment on and evaluate each student's progress according to the criteria created for this lesson.

10. Return the corrected papers to the students.


1. Formatively assess students' writing during the conference time as they develop their paragraphs. (See Procedures, step #6)
2. Have students do peer conferencing in their groups.
3. Each group presents to the class one or two of their prompts for oral discussion. Students tell something positive about the writing and then use the criteria to decide if the paragraph met the requirements.
4. Collect the papers to make specific, supportive comments and to evaluate each student's progress according to the criteria established. (See Associated File)


Florida Process Standard 8, Cooperative Workers, can also be met with this lesson with some modifications.

Attached Files

This file contains the Prompts and Criteria.     File Extension: pdf

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