Chapter 6


Chapter 6

Introducing the Single-Paragraph Outline (SPO): A Simple, Linear Guide

The Single Paragraph Outline (SPO) is a linear and simple outline that offers numerous benefits. It provides a clear structure with a beginning, middle, and end, eliminating repetition and improving students’ ability to stick to the topic. The SPO enables students to organize ideas logically and promotes analytical thinking. Its scaffolding activities help students understand the concept of a topic sentence and learn to organize and sequence details effectively. Teachers should continually revisit SPO scaffolding activities to reinforce specific skills needed to create an SPO independently.

Discussion Questions
  1. Why is the linear structure of the Single Paragraph Outline (SPO) the best plan for students?
  2. Explain why it’s important to write supporting details as notes on an outline instead of complete sentences.
  3. What important skills will students develop as they practice creating topic and concluding sentences?
  4. What techniques can help students avoid repeating their topic sentence verbatim when writing their paragraph’s concluding sentence?
  5. What benefits will students get from creating an outline, even if they don’t turn it into a draft or a final copy?
  6. What are some ways to differentiate an SPO activity for students who need more practice completing an outline?
  7. How do outlines promote analytic thinking?
  8. Try creating an SPO based on content you have taught.

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