We begin by explaining to the students that in the Greek temples of old, all the wise men of the area would come together and share ideas under one roof. We relate this to writing a paragraph by asking students to write the main idea on the roof, and the supporting details on the columns. All of the details need to fit under the roof (the topic) or they don’t belong in the paragraph. The base of the temple becomes the conclusion.
As you can see from the photo, the roof is green and the columns are yellow. The color-coding cues students where to begin. A red base is added for the conclusion.
Students experience tactile input by building temples with craft foam, then transition to graphic organizers in their writing notebooks.