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Teaching Kids How to Write a “My Family” Paragraph

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The “My Family” paragraph is an ideal introduction to paragraph writing. Learn how to teach this assignment step-by-step.

What Is the “My Family” Paragraph?

The “My Family” paragraph is the ideal assignment to teach students the nuts and bolts of paragraph writing.

It is a simple paragraph to write because it does not involve research.

What do kids know about? Their family. They can easily outline from their heads.

The “My Family” paragraph includes a sentence with one detail about each member of the family.

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Examples of the “My Family” Paragraph

Here are some examples of the “My Family” paragraph, from simple to more complex.

Example 1:

My family is the Garcia family. My father’s name is Ramon. My mother’s name is Mia. My sister’s name is Elena. We have a dog named Spock. We are a happy family.

Example 2:

We are the Garcia family. My father Ramon is an engineer. My mother Mia is a hairstylist. My sister Elena is in 9th grade and likes art. We also have a black and white bulldog named Spock. I love my family.

Example 3:

My family loves to do activities together. Sunday night is our family dinner night where Dad grills out and we have our grandparents over. We also like to watch nature documentaries together. On warm nights, we often take a walk after dinner with our dog, Spock. My sister Elena plays tennis, and we sometimes travel to different places to see her matches. I like spending time with my family.

Special Consideration for the “My Family” Paragraph

Consider that some students may not have a traditional family.

Be especially sensitive if you have kids who are in foster care or who do not live with their birth parents.

You also may have students who would rather not write about their family of origin.

It’s important to emphasize that families come in all shapes and sizes. Our family is a collection of people who care for us.

Families can include friends, neighbors, relatives…even teachers! Families are “your people.”

When asking students to think about their family, a great question is “Who is there for you?”

Here is another example:

My family is supportive of me. My grandmother helps me with my homework. My friend Lizzie and I go on walks and watch movies together. My teacher Ms. Rice tutors me in math. I can count on my family.

How to Teach Paragraph Writing

If you tell students, “Okay, now write a paragraph on your family,” you will get some blank stares.

You need to teach your students the structure of a paragraph first.

A paragraph should have this structure:

  • Topic sentence – what the paragraph is about
  • Supporting details – 3-5 sentences that support the topic sentence
  • Concluding sentence – wraps up the paragraph

It’s helpful to think of the paragraph like a hamburger.

The topic sentence is the top bun of the burger.

The supporting details are the meat, cheese, lettuce, etc.

The concluding sentence is the bottom bun.

For more information on how to teach paragraph writing, check out this article.

Components of the “My Family” Paragraph

The “My Family” paragraph fits neatly with the paragraph model.

Here are some general outlines for the “My Family” paragraph that fit the paragraph examples.

A student outline would have specific information.

Paragraph 1 Outline

  • Topic Sentence: Family name
  • Detail 1: Family member’s name
  • Detail 2: Family member’s name
  • Detail 3: Family member’s name
  • Detail 4: Pet’s name
  • Concluding Sentence: Describe your family. (“We are a ____ family.”)

Paragraph 2 Outline

  • Topic Sentence: Family name
  • Detail 1: Family member and 1 fact
  • Detail 2: Family member and 1 fact
  • Detail 3: Family member and 1 fact
  • Detail 4: Pet name and type
  • Concluding Sentence: Feeling about family

Paragraph 3 Outline

  • Topic Sentence: Family activities
  • Detail 1: Activity 1
  • Detail 2: Activity 2
  • Detail 3: Activity 3
  • Detail 4: Activity 4
  • Concluding Sentence: Reflect topic sentence

Paragraph 4 Outline

  • Topic Sentence: Family quality
  • Detail 1: Person 1 and example
  • Detail 2: Person 2 and example
  • Detail 3: Person 3 and example
  • Concluding Sentence: Reflect topic sentence

How to Teach the “My Family” Paragraph in 8 Steps

The best way to teach the “My Family” paragraph is with an anchor chart and graphic organizer.

You can find an excellent one (based on the hamburger example) right here.

Step 1:

Explain the assignment. What is the “My Family” paragraph?

Step 2:

Read an example of a completed paragraph.

Step 3:

Explain the parts of the paragraph.

Use the visual of the hamburger as your anchor chart.

Step 4:

Hand out the graphic organizer. Show a completed graphic organizer that fits your example paragraph.

Step 5:

Have the students fill in their graphic organizer with their specific details.

Step 6:

Have students write the “My Family” paragraph using the graphic organizer.

If students need additional support, provide a fill-in-the-blank paragraph for them to copy.

Step 7:

Check for correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Step 8 (Optional):

Have the students add an illustration.

Writing the “My Family” Paragraph

With the right instructional materials (that are so easy to just click and print), you can help students organize their ideas.

When you have an outline, writing a paragraph is easy-peasy!

Follow these 8 simple steps to teach your students how to write the “My Family” paragraph.

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