PARTS OF THE WHOLE (MANIPULATIVE ACTIVITIES)
The following activities require preparation on the part of the teacher. However, you will end up with sturdy manipulatives that can be reused many times. You have probably seen pencil and paper activities that are similar to these activities. The difference is that you can reach the tactile/kinesthetic learners with these activities. Also, most students enjoy hands-on activities better and the students can make changes quickly without erasing.
Parts of the Whole Menu:
You need to recopy a paragraph (or write your own) so that each sentence begins on a new line. Also, number or letter the sentences for ease in identification during discussion, just be sure to mix up the order. Copy these on cardstock and laminate them. Create enough so that each student or group has a copy. The students are to arrange the sentences into a well-formed paragraph. Be aware that the students may come up with a workable solution that does not match the original. However, be sure to point out that transitions will have some bearing on the order of the sentences.
The point of the activity is to begin a discussion on topic sentences, supporting details, and concluding sentences of paragraphs. This activity works well as a mini-lesson on paragraphs.
You need to copy a short story or essay (or write your own) so that it will be easy to cut the individual paragraphs apart. Number or letter the paragraphs for ease in identification during discussion, just be sure to mix up the order. Copy these on cardstock and laminate them. Create enough so that each student or group has a copy. The students are to arrange the paragraphs into a story or essay. Be aware that the students may come up with a workable solution that does not match the original. Be sure to point out that transitions will help determine the order of the paragraphs. (You can delete the transitions to help ensure more than one possible answer.)
The point of this activity is to begin a discussion on leads, conclusions, transitions, and supporting paragraphs with details and examples. Also, different methods of organization such as climactic, spatial, and order of importance can be discussed as well. This activity can lend itself to different mini-lessons depending on the focus; therefore, you may want to prepare a few different stories or essays to show a variety of leads, conclusions, and methods of organization.
Copy a story or essay so that the paragraphs can be easily cut apart, but leave a sentence or two out of each paragraph. Copy these "extra" sentences so that each sentence begins on a new line. Number each paragraph and letter each extra sentence for ease in identification during discussion; don't forget to mix up the order. It is important not to use only numbers or only letters this time. Laminate and cut apart. Again, each student or group will need a copy. This activity has two steps; however, either can be done first or both can be done simultaneously. The students are to determine where the "extra" sentences belong and the order of the paragraphs. (If you really want to get them thinking, ask them to tell you exactly where in the paragraph the extra sentence belongs.)
This activity combines the concepts of Activity 1 and Activity 2 and can also be used for mini-lessons.
Copy a story or essay, but divide it into individual sentences. Begin each new sentence on a different line and give it a letter or number; again make sure to mix the order. Now the students have to put the whole thing together using everything they have learned about paragraphing and organization. You can leave the transitions in as clues, or you can provide them in addition to the sentences. Better yet, the students can add their own.
SPECIAL NOTE: Storage of these materials does present a challenge. To solve this problem, I rubber-band each set together. Then I put all of the sets for one activity in a large zip-lock baggie that I have labeled with the name of the activity. All of the zip-lock baggies are then placed in a box that is labeled appropriately.
This site last updated 14 November 2007.
External links last verified 2 September 2007.
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1997-2007, Kimberly Steele,
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