Middle School Expository Essay

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

How-To Writing: Motivating Students to Write for a Real Purpose

It's not easy surviving fourth grade (or third or fifth)! In this lesson, students brainstorm survival tips for future fourth graders and incorporate those tips into an essay.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Exploring Cause and Effect Using Expository Texts About Natural Disasters

Students explore the nature and structure of expository texts that focus on cause and effect and apply what they learned using graphic organizers and writing paragraphs to outline cause-and-effect relationships.

 

Grades   4 – 7  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A "Cay"ribbean Island Study

As a pre-reading activity for The Cay, groups of students choose and study a Caribbean island, create a final product in the format of their choice, and finally, do an oral presentation to share information learned.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Houdini Box: What Did Houdini Hide? Writing Creative Endings

Students are encouraged to understand a book that the teacher reads aloud to create a new ending for it using the writing process.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Defining Moments: Charting Character Evolution in Lord of the Flies

Savagery, treachery, lost innocence... Lord of the Flies is rife with character development. Use this lesson to help students chart the character changes of Ralph and Jack, both in groups and individually.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Developing Citizenship Through Rhetorical Analysis

Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.

 

Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  December 5

Walt Disney was born in 1901.

Students describe female characters in Disney films, discuss their characteristics, and write a thesis statement about them.

 

Grades   K – 5  |  Strategy Guide

Implementing the Writing Process

This strategy guide explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Shared Writing

This strategy guide explains how to use shared writing to teach students effective strategies that will improve their own independent writing ability.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Write Alouds

This strategy guide explains how to use write-aloud (also known as modeled writing) to teach effective writing strategies and improve students' independent writing ability.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Inquiry Charts (I-Charts)

This guide introduces I-Charts, a strategy that enables students to generate meaningful questions about a topic and organize their writing.

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Developing Evidence-Based Arguments from Texts

This strategy guide clarifies the difference between persuasion and argumentation, stressing the connection between close reading of text to gather evidence and formation of a strong argumentative claim about text.

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Teaching With Podcasts

This Strategy Guide describes the processes involved in composing and producing audio files that are published online as podcasts.

 

When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.

At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.

One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.

Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.

I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.

This is what writing looks like in the real world.

Research by “Write Like This” author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate. My personal experience backs this up, as does the old adage “all writing is rewriting,” oft quoted by everyone from LA screenwriters to New York Times bestselling authors.

Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.

Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.

Expository writing examples for middle school

Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.

Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills.

Descriptive writing examples for middle school

Narrative writing examples for middle school

Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school

Reflective writing examples for middle school

If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

 

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.

Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: writing examples, writing samples

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