Paragraph a Week (PaW) itself was not originally meant to be an instructional strategy as much as it was a practice strategy. PaW was intended to be independent practice of what was being directly taught during our (the developers) Language Arts classes, specifically the writing process. Writing was not something that was just over and done in one sitting; rather it required planning, doing, checking, and redoing over a period of time to allow the writer to make changes and improvements.
While we implicitly taught the steps of writing in our classes with specific prompts and lessons, we required our students to write outside the classroom following these same steps. PaW helped us meet this need.
The PaW prompt was passed out in our Language Arts classes on Monday. We read the instructions together carefully and answered student questions. While the actual assignment was not due until Thursday (some PaW teachers collected the assignment on Friday), we encouraged our students to follow a weekly ritual that helped them implement the writing process and allowed them to spend time with their writing.
Monday evening was meant as a re-reading of the prompt and a brainstorming session. Many of the prompts came with procedures to help the students pre-plan their writing via webs, flow charts, lists, etc.
Tuesday evening was meant as a rough draft and initial editing/proofreading session. Here students were required to get the input of an adult writer by asking a parent or older sibling to help them proofread.
Wednesday night was the night to polish the draft and complete the final copy to be turned in first thing Thursday morning.
The beauty of PaW is that you can tailor it to your student needs! Use it one week and not the next. Collect the assignments on Thursday one week while on Friday the next. Check the progress of your student writing by requiring them to show you each step of the process along the way. There is no right or wrong way to use Paragraph a Week... just use it!
This week's FREE PaW can be downloaded HERE.
Other PaW (Paragraph a Week) FREEBIES currently available can be downloaded below. This list is arranged in no particular manner and contains single and multi-paragraph topics.
Finish the Phrase
National Pencil Month
Favorite Valentine Memory
Bird's Eye View of Spring
Abe and George
Journey of a Snowflake
A Tribute to Johnny Appleseed
Good Substitute Teacher
Topics soon to appear during the Tuesday Writing PaWs:My Favorite OutfitGood Teacher