How to Teach Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs

Have you noticed that every single weather occurrence gets a mighty-sounding name these days? I'm sick of Vulcan, Atlas, and Orion. Send us a storm named Dinky. Or Fluffy. Or Barney Fife. Those we can live with.

After suffering from the flu, I was rarin' to get back to school. I missed my kids! But we've had two snow days this week, and another storm is hot on the tail of the last. So we are condensing lessons. Fortunately, my kids work well at warp speed.


We are working on a research essay, and this is the "foldanizer" that my students use for the introduction. It's great for my visual learners. They learn to associate the inverted pyramid with the information required in the opening paragraph. Notice that it starts out broad and general, and the "point" is the thesis statement.
The concluding paragraph is reversed; it's a pyramid, with the thesis restatement first and the general part last.
I always have extra blank foldanizers around for kids who want to use it for planning, instead of using a typical graphic organizer.

When we are writing literary analysis essays, I also have a chart similar to this one, for reference.
If you are having trouble teaching your students to write essay introductions and thesis statements, try this method! It makes things so easy!
It's so helpful to have all kinds of tricks up our sleeves for all of the different learning styles we see. 

Hopefully, we won't have any more snow days, and this essay can actually be finished before spring. I think our first sunny day should be called Apollo: god of light, the sun, music, and poetry. But for now, I'll settle for Dinky.


  1. You have such an affinity for teaching...amazing!

  2. Ha ha! You do know that I only became a teacher because of you!

  3. Oh Darlene, I wish you taught next door to me. I love, love, love your sense of humor! Polarvortex Dinky - I'm all for that. Or Barney Fife!

  4. This is awesome! Do you have this in word or a PDF so others can use it?

  5. Is there somewhere where I can get these foldables? I would love to use them. please respond to

    1. These foldables are available in this resource:
      I'm glad you like them! Thanks :)