The “Ice Cream POWagraph” sequence was contributed by Dena Glynn, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Tierra Bonita Elementary in Poway, California. You can follow her at @Glynn_ed. To find & assign this sequence, get Writable from the App Store, then tap ‘Manage Goals’ and browse the Elementary School sequences.
The goal of the POWagraph is to take a typical paragraph and add a clearer sense of Purposeful and Organized Writing (hence the POW). After years of teaching a traditional five sentence paragraph, I felt students simply listed information instead of providing more details. This is why the POWagraph was created. By providing additional explanation about particular details, the paragraph is more well rounded and leaves the reader with an increased sense of understanding.
When first starting the year, I break the parts of a POWagraph into Topic sentence, Supporting details (with explanation), and Concluding sentence. Spending specific time on each aspect lends for a more well-crafted piece to the POWagraph puzzle. I have found that short videos centered around a topic really connect with kids. I usually use a video as a springboard and then have them research a bit more to find those supporting details.
I always think of the adage, “Go slow to go fast.” A paragraph is the basic building block of many pieces of writing. Once a student feels comfortable writing paragraphs for different audiences and reasons, there is no stopping their progress. It’s a security for all later academic endeavors.