Got this wonderful idea from Mrs. Brown and used it with my students.
Each student gets a saltine cracker and one toothpick. The student is suppose to make the cracker stand up with one toothpick. The kids won't be able to do it, so the teacher gives the students another toothpick. This still doesn't work, so the teacher gives the students yet another toothpick (we are now at 3). Some students can get their saltine to stand up now but it is not sturdy. Finally, the teacher gives the students four toothpicks and everyone saltine crackers stand up like tables.
This analogy is a lot like oreo sentences.... The table represents good paragraph writing. It needs a topic sentence or main idea (the saltine cracker) and it also needs 4 supporting details (like four toothpicks) in order to stand up.
The kids responded really well to this idea.
Here are some pictures: