Staying On Topic
This example would be ON TOPIC:
Last summer we went to the beach. My family played in the ocean and my daddy held my hands as I jumped over the waves. We built a different kind of sandcastle each day. Sometimes we added decorations with seashells and sticks. We also made them different sizes. Our hotel had two pools and we played in both of them. My sister and I played with our floaties. My brother already knows how to swim. We played and splashed each other. My uncle took our family to play putt putt and to the pavilion. We also got to go eat ice cream each night after supper. We stayed for 5 days and had so much fun while we were there. I hope I get to go back to the beach again soon.
(The above example is what we are after! It gives a topic sentence. It has details with elaboration....all related to the actual beach trip. It also includes a conclusion).
This example never GOT to the topic:
Last summer we went to the beach. We were excited. We packed our clothes in our suitcases. We rode and rode and rode and rode. We checked into our hotel. We finally got there. It was fun.
(The above example never talked about anything that happened WHILE AT the beach).
This example strays OFF topic:
Last summer my family went to the beach. We played in the pool and splashed each other. We also played in the ocean. We saw boats float by. My family has a boat. It is blue. We take it to the lake on weekends. Lots of people can ride on it. We had fun.
(The above example started off at the beach but then ended up talking about the boat that they take to the lake)...