What are Scrambled Paragraphs?
Scrambled paragraphs are sentences taken from a complete paragraph for your students to rearrange. They are like puzzles your students will put back together using what they know about text structure.
Teachers love scrambled paragraphs because they are engaging, fun, and helpful. They are an effective way to support students learning about organization and paragraph writing.
That’s why using scrambled paragraphs can be a great lesson plan to teach writing skills.
In print, scrambled paragraphs are a great hands-on activity. With digital tools like Google Slides, they are are a fun, drag and drop activity.
Why use Scrambled Paragraphs?
Teachers know the importance of scaffolding. Using pre-written texts is a great introduction to the task of writing a paragraph of your own.
Instead of having to come up with their own ideas for paragraph writing, this helps kids form paragraphs easily. It can help struggling writers realize how paragraphs should flow.
Furthermore, scrambled paragraphs can help reinforce the use of main ideas and supporting details. Students will need to decide which sentences are topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusion sentences.
Additionally, they are a fun activity that go beyond your typical worksheet. They can be perfect for kinesthetic learners.
How to do Scrambled Paragraphs
Scrambled paragraphs can be used as an individual or group assignment. It can turn into a fun competition as well. Many teachers like to use them as stations in literacy centers.
To start using these in your class, first find a well-organized paragraph and break it down into sentences. Cut out sentences and have students put them back together.
Otherwise, you can get ready to use scrambled paragraph worksheets with answers here!
More tips from Teachers
Teachers have told me that they like to use this activity in a number of ways:
- A fun substitute activity
- Response to Intervention (RTI) lessons
- Writing activity for a writer’s workshop
- Laminating the cards and putting them in plastic sandwich bags
- After students have unscrambled the paragraphs, ask them to identify the type of text structure used (cause and effect, chronological, etc.)
- Practice writing a new main idea and concluding statement
- A fun back to school/end of the year activity to get students thinking while keeping them engaged
Looking for more ways to scaffold writing?
Read about the RACE Strategy: my favorite writing strategy that helps students learn to cite textual evidence.
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