Scrambled Paragraph Lesson Plan

scrambled p

Here’s an activity which demonstrates how the sentences in a well-constructed paragraph should fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The following scrambled paragraph is a true story that happened to me when I was around ten years old.

____ Unfortunately, I also got my foot.

____ I got his shadow.

____ I will never forget the time I stuck an awl through my foot.

____ I pulled it out, ran into the house, and shouted, “Mom, Dad, I
        just stuck an awl through my foot.”

____ They did not believe me until they saw it.

____ The knife not only penetrated Andy’s shadow, it went through
        the top of my foot and came out the other side.

____ This happened one day when I was stabbing the awl from my
        dad’s pocket knife into my front lawn.

____ My neighbor Andy and I were playing a game in which I
        attempted to stab his shadow as he ran across the yard.


#1. Pass out this Scrambled Paragraph to students and have them number it.
#2. Show them the answers and let them correct their own papers.
#3. For homework, have the students write a first-person narrative paragraph between eight and eleven sentences long about something interesting or exciting that has happened to them. Then they should “scramble” their paragraphs like the example above. (Answers should go on the back of their papers.)
#4 Classroom activity: Students swap each other’s paragraphs and number them.

(Scrambled Paragraph answer: 5,4,1,7,8,6,2,3)

Richard W. Bray

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