Why use framed paragraphs?
- It provides a framework for writing strong paragraphs
- The frame guides students by providing the transitional phrases for sentences
- It can incorporate various sentence types: long and short, simple and complex.
|When to use:||Before reading||During reading||After reading|
|How to use:||Individually||With small groups||Whole class setting|
How to use framed paragraphs
- Discuss how to write a framed paragraph by using:
- A topic sentence — a general statement or opinion
- Three to five examples that develop the topic or opinion
- Transitions when needed
- A summary sentence at the end
- Provide students with a blank frame.
- Ask students fill in the missing portions of the frame to write a complete paragraph.
- Encourage students to incorporate a variety of sentences: long and short, simple and complex.
Download blank template
There are many ways to create a frame for a paragraph. This template helps children summarize what they learned from their reading.
- Paragraph frame (36K PDF)*
This example of a framed paragraph centers on Holidays and provides additional space for students to re-write the completed paragraph.
See example > (99K PDF)*
This site includes an example of using a framed paragraph for writing a description about decimals.
See example > (110K PDF)*
This example shows how teachers can use a writing frame to develop a "compare" and "contrast" essay.
See example > (28K PDF)*
Children's books to use with this strategy
Miss Rumphius leaves the world more beautiful with an unusual legacy. This gentle story can relate to not only the language arts, but to dreams, legacies, and the environment.
Part of the MathStart series, this story centers around a boy's desire to ride in a 15 kilometer bicycle race. Lucid text and clear illustrations are used to explain perimeters and more. The series varies in difficulty.
A boy has five pennies and spends them one at a time as he meets people during a walk. Told in rhyme, this cumulative story is appealing and well supported by illustration.
This fictionalized picture book biography of young Harriet Tubman is sure to begin discussion on early US history and the woman who became known as the conductor on the Underground Railroad.
A lucid text (with lots of visuals) reveals exciting and sourced stories of the California Gold Rush. Other books by Schanzer may work as well.
For Second Language Learners, students of varying reading skill, and for younger learners
- Vary the amount of information you provide in the frame. Some students may require lots of transition words for sentences, others will need very few.
- Model the frame paragraph strategy with a text that is familiar to students before asking them to complete it on their own.
- Some students may enjoy making their own frame for something they've read. Students could pair up, write their own frames, and then trade texts and frames and complete the new frame.
See the research that supports this strategy
Ellis, E. S. (1998). Framing Main Ideas and Essential Details to Promote Comprehension.
Sejnost, R., & Thiese, S. (2007). Reading and Writing Across Content Areas 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.