Teaching the 5 Paragraph Essay-Supporting Details-Part 4

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Green and Leafy, Thick and Juicy—Is that a tomato?


Brainstorming the Details and Organizing Your Thoughts


by James Greenshields


Teachers, before jumping into writing the details you need to get your students thinking. What do they know about their topics? Can they list off 3-6 different details of each? To get the creative juices flowing I advise you to draw a web graph to help your students organize their thoughts.



how to write a 5 paragraph essay esl

  • In the center circle write your topic.


  • Then for each surrounding circle, ask your students to say one detail they know about the topic.


  • When they finish they will have 6 details about their topics. 



Some students may struggle with this concept. They may feel flustered and not be able to think outside of the box in order to organize their thoughts in this way. Not to worry, another way to brainstorm details for an essay is to ask your students the 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How). If they can provide a sentence, or even short details for each question, then they can write a good one paragraph essay.  After your students have filled in their organizers, have them number each detail so that they will know the sequence in which they will use them.


Please use the following graphic organizer to make things easier for you and your students.






Good luck and please click on Part 5 to learn about writing the details.


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