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Here is an excellent expository writing plan that models body paragraphs


Language Arts  


5, 6, 7  

Title – Teaching Students to Write Expository Pieces Using a Writing Plan
By – Jamie Danford
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 5th-7th

TTW question students on how they usually get started on writing a writing piece.
TTW tell the students that she always starts with a plan.
Review the purpose of expository writing with the students. (To explain)
Remind students that expository writing is the most used type of writing by authors. (Especially in everyday life)

Lesson: Have the students take notes while you teach a step-by-step plan of how to write a good expository writing piece. After each step, have the students do it. Write the plan on the board, a chart, or the overhead.

(Suppose this was the writing prompt: Think of an insect you dislike and explain why. Make sure to give good reasons and examples to support your choice.)

Expository Writing Plan

      1. Choose one subject.

(Your example answer will be: mosquitoes)

      2. List three reasons.

(Your example answer will be:
1. annoying when I am outside
2. their bites itch
3. they carry diseases like the West Nile Virus)

      3. Each reason gets a paragraph. (The paragraphs must only be about one reason each! Stick to the topic!)
      4. Examples follow each reason.
      5. Use the subject and reasons to construct your


      introduction and conclusion.

Next, model an example of a good body paragraph for one of the reasons you listed. Here is an example that you could use. (Tell them they can pull from your paragraph: One reason I hate… and For example…)

One reason I hate mosquitoes is because they are so annoying while I am outside. For example, whenever we have cookouts, they want to swarm all around the food. Also, when I go fishing with my Dad, we always have to wear bug spray. The bug spray always stinks to high heaven! Then, if you do not want to use bug spray, the only other way to get them to leave you alone is to wear long sleeves. Yet, who wants to wear long sleeves when it is hot outside? Nothing ruins your day like bloodsucking mosquitoes.

It is very important to model an example of the body paragraph. You can also see an example of how to write good introductions and conclusions for an expository writing piece on this site under Language Arts-5th grade.

This writing plan was taught to our 5th grade teachers by Rick Shelton at a school workshop. If you ever have the opportunity to visit his workshops: Attend! He is great at teaching writing! He also has an excellent book for teaching the four modes of writing: Expository, Descriptive, Narrative, and Persuasive.

Evaluation: Assess students writing with a rubric you create that is geared toward how you taught the students to write the piece. Did they choose one subject? Did they have 3 reasons in 3 different paragraphs? Introduction? Conclusion? Did they stick to the topic? Did they respond to the writing prompt?

E-Mail Jamie Danford !

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