I wrote a little utility to randomly order sentences from a paragraph to see if students can reconstruct the original sentence. If you’re interested, try Paragraphy out. If you’d like to know the background, keep reading…
I struggle with teaching my students how to answer “writing strategies” questions on their standardized tests. The questions typically ask students which sentence would go best between two other sentences within a paragraph. I understand that these questions are designed to test if students understand how a paragraph should flow. However, it is quite far removed from actually writing a paragraph and our curriculum doesn’t offer any materials to help teach this particular skill. As a result, my students’ scores in this area are always lower than their actual writing ability.
Thus, Paragraphy was born. This simple utility takes in a paragraph and outputs the sentences on separate lines, ordered randomly. In groups, I have my students attempt to put the sentences back in their original order. My hope is that this helps them develop an understanding of a well-written paragraph, but also helps do well on their tests.
Maybe you’ll find a use for this too :)
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