In every room of our school, we have “Power Writing” posters. These are posters that give students a formula to write a complete paragraph. Since I support my school’s literacy schools in every way possible, I encourage my students to use this formula to write great paragraphs in Spanish, just as they would in English.
First, here are the different kinds of sentences:
- Topic Sentence: Your main idea.
- Major detail: An idea that supports your topic sentence.
- Minor Detail: An idea that elaborates on the major detail.
- Concluding Statement: Your topic sentence, or main idea, restated.
There are several formulas to work from, based on how many details you want to include. The most basic form is 1-2-3-2-3-4, but you can infinitely add more details (1-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-4, for example). Some power writing formulas also include another sentence type that is a quote or concrete idea.
So what does this look like? Here is a sample paragraph in English (please excuse the cheesiness):
(1) It is easy to learn Spanish in Mrs. Bex’s Spanish classes! (2) One way that we learn Spanish is by creating stories. (3) The stories are interesting, unique, and personal. (2) Another way that we learn Spanish is by reading. (3) We read many different kinds of things, like children’s books, song lyrics, short stories, and articles. (4) Mrs. Bex makes sure that we always understand what we are reading and hearing, so learning Spanish is a breeze!
This formula works for any writing prompt. I’ve attached a form that you can give to students for the first few times that they use this structure (until they are able to write it on their own on demand).