Author: Deb Avery | Published on 1 September 2023


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

Writing is not easy. I find that my learners need to be guided in order to produce good quality writing. Using different stages to support them as they write, and giving feedback throughout the task helps them become more confident writers.

Stage 1: Introduce the topic

Use a picture or a text to develop interest in the topic e.g. a picture of a city scene.

Ask: ‘What can you see in this picture’

Allow learners to think on their own and then share their ideas with a partner.

Give learners the topic of the paragraph, e.g. I love my town.

Say: ‘We are going to write a paragraph about this picture. Can you remember what we find in a paragraph?’

Elicit different elements of paragraph writing e.g.

  • topic sentence
  • supporting sentences
  • concluding sentence

Discuss other aspects of the task e.g. what vocabulary, what tenses or punctuation they might use.

Stage 2: Brainstorm ideas

Ask learners to brainstorm ideas that they need to include in the paragraph.

Collect ideas and write them on the board. Help learners to select the best ideas. 

Stage 3: Plan the writing

Put learners into groups of four or five.

Provide an outline for the paragraph e.g. a mind map, writing frame etc.

Say: ‘Work with your group and plan your paragraph. Use the outline to help you.’

Stage 4: Prepare and write draft 

Learners write their first draft individually or in pairs or small groups. 

Say: ‘In your paragraph, remember to use the information from your plan.’

Circulate and assist where necessary.

Stage 5: Feedback and write final text

Learners work with their partner. 

Say: ‘Read each other’s texts and say two things you like about it and one thing that could be improved. e.g. it is interesting and has five sentences but it isn’t written neatly.’

It may be helpful to provide a checklist for feedback. e.g. 

  • Is there a title?
  • Is there a topic sentence?
  • Are there paragraphs?
  • Is the tense correct? 
  • Is punctuation correct?

Learners make corrections and write a final draft of their text.

Adapt the activity to different levels by varying the length of the writing tasks. Young learners can write sentences, while older learners can write essays or stories. Support and guide learners at each stage by circulating and talking to the learners.


Brainstorm: To suggest ideas quickly, before then considering them more carefully.

Checklist: a list of all the things that you need to do

Circulate: Move around the classroom to check what learners are doing, and if they need any help.

Concluding sentence: the last sentence in a paragraph

Elicit: How a teacher gets information from learners, e.g. asking questions, prompting.

Feedback: Information about performance.

Mind map: A way of creating and organising ideas about a topic. One central topic is written in a circle and different, related ideas come out from the centre.

Supporting sentences: sentences to develop the main idea presented in the topic sentence.

Topic sentence: a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph.

Writing frame: A worksheet that outlines the structure of a specific text type