It took me a long time to figure out how to teach students to write conclusions. I think it was because I didn’t completely understand it myself.
I like to explain conclusions to students like this:
When we buy a present for a friend’s birthday. First we go shopping and we brainstorm ideas on what we want to buy. We find the gift. Then, we buy the gift. Next, we bring it home. In the end, we wrap the gift. This process is kind of like our story. The last step is to wrap it all up. We buy the gift and wrap it up at the end.
In informational and opinion stories we teach students to re-state the introduction sentence, re-writing it to say it just a bit different.
Here are a few examples:
Opinion Writing (Example 1)
I like pizza. (Introduction Sentence)
This is why pizza is my favorite dinner. (Conclusion)
My dog Rocky is my favorite pet. (Introduction)
Rocky is the best pet. (Conclusion)
Informational Writing (Example 1)
Tigers have sharp teeth. (Introduction)
This is why Tigers need to have sharp teeth. (Conclusion)
We use computers every day. (Introduction)
Computers are important to us. (Conclusion)
Narrative writing is much different! When we are doing Narrative Writing, we do not restate the introduction sentence. The conclusion in a Narrative Story, wraps up the story. It tells the reader the final thing of what happened to the character. For my story below, if I left out the last conclusion sentence then my reader will wonder what happened to the character. We shouldn’t leave our reader wondering.
For my Narrative Story here:
The beach is hot and sandy.
Kim likes to play on the beach.
She gets stung by a bee on her leg.
Kim goes to a lifeguard to get ice for her leg.
Now, she feels better and can play.
(This sentence tells the reader that the story is over)
Reinforcing Conclusion Writing
Tip: If students are still struggling with their conclusions, then it is helpful for students to tell their stories to someone and in doing so they might come up with one.
Just as we do with our other writing examples, making an anchor chart with conclusion starters would be helpful for your students.
Here are a few to get you started:
Helpful Conclusion Words
This is why…
____ are important to
_____ are mammals.
This is why…
_____ is(are) my favorite _____
______ is the best ______
In the end,…
Practicing Conclusions in the classroom
You can practice making conclusions with students as a whole group or in small groups.
Here are some ways to practice:
- For Informational and Opinion Writing, give students the introduction sentence and let them come up with a conclusion.
- Have one student come up the the introduction sentence and the other the conclusion.
- Give students a sheet with several introduction sentences on them let students practice adding conclusions
- In Narrative writing, give students a problem and solution sentence and let them come up with a conclusion.
- Take student’s stories and put them up on the board and let students come up with various conclusions for their own classmates’ stories.
They will get it, eventually!
Writing conclusions takes a lot of practice. Keep in mind that students will get practice each year, so if they don’t get it down, this is not their only chance to learn. Click HERE to Check out our other articles on teaching Narrative Writing in the classroom.
Did you know that we have full year long writing curriculums for 1st grade and 2nd grade? These curriculums will guide you as a teacher all year. They are differentiated, interactive and step by step. Be ready for you students to move to the next level in their writing!
Have a great week!