You might be wondering why I spelled "pause" as "PAWs". PAW stand for Paragraph a Week, a yearly writing program that a group of fifth and sixth grade teachers called the 5-6Connection began developing back in 1997. We were a group of fifth and sixth grade teachers from all around the world, chiefly the US and Canada. We began by discovering each other on keypal groups and newly created listservs. We originally communicated via email by grouping addresses and sending a bulk message to each other. Remember this was in the days before blogs, and internet bulletin boards were still a novelty!
Paragraph a Week began as a "Hey, I remember a writing assignment a colleague used to do when I first started teaching" kind of idea turned project. Originally called Friday English (the assignments were due on Friday) I changed the name to Paragraph a Week since I had the assignments due on Thursday (sometimes Friday) instead.
The premise of the program was that students would be given a specific topic each week on Monday, brainstorm, draft, revise, proofread (obtain the signature of their editor), rewrite, and publish a text throughout the week, turning in the final product on the due date. They would be practicing the writing process while honing writing skills. It worked GREAT! I have students who are now in their late twenties/early thirties who claim this routine activity helped them develop strong writing habits.SCORE!
I housed the archive of over one hundred topics, formatted into an instruction sheet, at a website called The Teacher's Desk until I shut down the site in late 2012 and turned to blogging instead. It was always my intent to develop Paragraph a Week into a product that I could offer on Teachers Pay Teachers. That's a story I'll continue some other time.However, I have about fifteen pages completed and want to share them.
I have decided instead to post a PAW topic and instruction sheet each Tuesday as a Writing PAWs. This week I'm starting with a story like topic that gives students a bit of a choice. You can download the instruction sheet HERE or by clicking on the pic below.
Other PAW FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below.
St. Patrick's Day Leprechauns
Topics soon to appear:
Evaluation Sheet (then and now)
Parent Introductory Letter
Journey of a Snowflake