The Topic Sentence • The topic sentence gives the main idea of a paragraph. • It is usually the first or second sentence of the paragraph– but not always. • It should “fit” the content of the paragraph.
The story “Hansel and Gretel” seems too cruel and violent to some people. It is cruel for parents to abandon their children. The story also includes the idea that the witch is going to eat Hansel. The end is just as violent: Gretel burns the witch alive. Which sentence is the topic sentence?
Which sentence is the topic sentence? In “Hansel and Gretel” the father agrees to abandon his children in the forest. Then a wicked witch fattens Hansel in order to eat him. At the end of the story Gretel burns the witch alive. To some parents, all this seems too cruel and violent for little children.
Cruel and violent Eat boy Abandon children Burn witch
Add a topic sentence: ______________________________ ____________. The tortoise wins the race against the hare because he never stops to rest. In “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” the grasshopper sings all summer while the ant works. In the winter he faces starvation and asks the ant for help, but the ant refuses.
A topic sentence should “fit.” • A good topic sentence won’t be too general. • It won’t be too narrow. • It will fit or match the content of the paragraph.
Find a topic sentence for this paragraph: _______________________________ __________. Cinderella’s sisters make her stay home because they are jealous of her beauty and character. In “Snow White” the stepmother tries to kill the girl because her mirror tells her Snow White is more beautiful than she is.
Here are some possible topic sentences for the last paragraph. Which one fits best? Why? • Women are evil in fairy tales. • Some characters are bad. • In fairy tales older women are often jealous of younger ones. • In some fairy tales women are motivated by jealousy.