A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and related to a single topic. There are three parts to a paragraph.  The topic sentence is usually found at the beginning of the paragraph. The topic sentence captures the main idea of the paragraph.  The second part of a paragraph is the body of the paragraph, the supporting sentences.  The sentences in the body of the paragraph provide details to support the topic.  The last sentence in the paragraph is the concluding sentence which summarizes the paragraph.

DIRECTIONS - Read the paragraphs below and click on the sentence that belongs in the blank. Only one sentence goes with the topic or main idea. Remember, the body of the paragraph supports the topic sentence. THEN, think about the reason. Why is that the correct sentence choice? Click on the drop box for the explanation.  

** Be sure to click on the "x" in the corner of the pop up picture each time to close it!!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a strong leader.  He was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He went to college to become a minister, like his father was. Dr. King became a leader and civil rights advocate. __________  _______________________________________ On April 4, 1968,  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by celebrating his birthday as a national holiday.

1. Martin had a white childhood friend who was not allowed to play with him after they started attending different schools.

2. His nonviolent leadership and powerful speeches gained him respect from the American people.

3. We should all honor and respect Martin Luther King Jr. for the work he has done. 



Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who became known as the "Moses of her people." __________________________ 
The Underground Railroad was a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, and during the Civil War she was a spy with for the federal forces in South Carolina as well as a nurse.

1. Over the course of 10 years, and at great personal risk, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. 

2. There should be a national holiday to celebrate Harriet's achievements.

3. As a small child, she was a slave and frequently subjected to severe whippings.




Photo portrait of Frederick Douglass.

Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to a slave mother and a white father he never knew, Frederick Douglass grew up to become a leader in the abolitionist movement and the first black citizen to hold high rank (as U.S. minister and consul general to Haiti) in the U.S. government. _______________________
 Frederick Douglass once told a group of African American students from a school in Talbot County, Maryland, "What was possible for me is possible for you. Do not think because you are colored you cannot accomplish anything. Strive earnestly to add to your knowledge. So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men." He won world fame when his autobiography was publicized in 1845. Two years later he began publishing an antislavery paper called the North Star.

1. A brilliant speaker, Douglass was asked by the American Anti-Slavery Society to engage in a tour of lectures, and so became recognized as one of America's first great black speakers.

2. Frederick  was born a slave in February 1818 on Holmes Hill Farm, near the town of Easton on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

3. Frederick's mother, Harriet Bailey, worked the cornfields surrounding Holmes Hill.




Duke Ellington, Paramount Theater, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946.

Born Edward Kennedy Ellington, Duke Ellington was one of the founding fathers of jazz music. _____________________________ ______________________________________ A pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, Ellington and his band played together for 50 years. Some of Ellington's most famous songs include "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Sophisticated Lady" and "In a Sentimental Mood."

1. While vacationing in Asbury Park, Duke heard of a hot pianist named Harvey Brooks.

2. He played for the royalty and for the common people and by the end of his fifty-year career, he had played over 20,000 performances worldwide.

3. He started playing the piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was 15, he was composing.




Twentieth century writer and poet Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance, which was the African American artistic movement in the 1920s that celebrated black life and culture. Hughes's creative genius was influenced by his life in New York City's Harlem, a primarily African American neighborhood. _____________ __________________________________
Hughes, like others active in the Harlem Renaissance, had a strong sense of racial pride. Through his poetry, novels, plays, essays, and children's books, he promoted equality, condemned racism and injustice, and celebrated African American culture, humor, and spirituality.

1. His literary works helped shape American literature and politics.

2. His father didn't think he would be able to make a living as at writing, and encouraged him to pursue a more practical career.

3. In 1923, Hughes traveled abroad on a freighter to the Senegal, Nigeria,  Cameroons, Belgium Congo, Angola, and Guinea in Africa, and later to Italy and France, Russia and Spain.




W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was a noted scholar, editor, and African American activist. Du Bois was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP -- the largest and oldest civil rights organization in America). _____________________________________ _____________________________________
He made significant contributions to debates about race, politics, and history in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, primarily through his writing and impassioned speaking on race relations. Du Bois also served as editor of The Crisis magazine and published several scholarly works on race and African American history. By the time he died, in 1963, he had written 17 books, edited four journals and played a key role in reshaping black-white relations in America.

1. He emigrated to Ghana in 1961 and joined the Communist Party there.

2. Throughout his life Du Bois fought discrimination and racism.

3. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois  was born in Massachusetts on February 23, 1868.



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