Expository Essay 3rd Grade

Introducing Expository Writing

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Enough to strike fear in your heart?  Here's an easy way to slide your kids into expository writing.  Our kiddos have an expository essay as part of their state writing test in fourth grade.  I figure if I can help my kids get the basics of this down (instead of sending them to fourth grade with an "expository, say what?"), the fourth grade teachers at my school will worship the ground I walk on.

I modeled every step of the way using our school nurse as my example.  This type of writing was very new for my kids, so I had them work in groups.  (Sidenote-They all freaked out when I said the word essay.)

Day 1: Choose your central idea and support
(Yes, I should have taken pictures along the way.  The highlighted parts show day 1.)

I gave each group a 12x18 piece of construction paper that was folded into four sections.  They had to write their central idea and three meaning reasons to support it.

You will have to have a conversation about why "She is nice" is not meaningful support.  I told my students that our nurse had long hair, was from Kansas, and was nice, but that had nothing to do with why she was important to our school.

Day 2: Plan your support
I showed them three ways to write about their reasons:
•What ifs (what if that person wasn't at our school? What would happen?)
•Personal experience

We planned how we would support each reason.

Day 3: Time to write!
Needless to say, writing their paragraphs was a breeze after all that planning.  Each kid in the group chose a reason to turn into a paragraph, and they whipped out an expository essay in no time.

I was so happy with how these lessons went.  Each day my room was loud, but it was the GOOD kind of loud.  Kids talking and planning and discussing writing!  Swoon.

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Expository Writing Prompts for First, Second and Third Graders

Learning how to write an expository paper is one of the most important skills that young students can develop from an early age. Expository writing is a method of writing in which the author describes, informs, or explains a topic to the reader. It is a lifelong skill that will serve students not only throughout the rest of their school years, but also throughout their entire lives. 

These all new expository writing prompts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-grade students are full of interesting topics and ideas that kids will be excited to describe. Some prompts ask students to explain a concept (such as why it’s so important to eat healthy foods), while others allow them to practice their expository writing skills by explaining why they hold a particular viewpoint or belief (such as why a person they find heroic should be admired by others). As students go through these prompts, they’ll improve their descriptive writing skills and will gain a better understanding of what it means to explain or teach something to another person.

Use these 33 new prompts in your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classrooms to help students learn the valuable skill of expository writing!

33 Expository Writing Prompts for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade Students

  1. Think of your most valued possession. Explain why it is so important to you.
  2. Explain why it is so important for kids to attend school.
  3. Think about a time when you did something that you didn’t want to do. Explain why you did it anyway.
  4. Think of a person whom you consider to be a hero. Explain why other people should admire this person.
  5. Explain three ways that people can do nice things for one another.
  6. Explain what you would do if a friend got mad at you for something that you didn’t do.
  7. Think about a famous person whom you would like to meet and explain why you would want to meet him or her.
  8. Choose an important tool that can be found in our classroom. Explain how it has made an impact on teachers and students.
  9. Think about a time when you couldn’t stop laughing and explain what happened.
  10. Explain why it is important to eat healthy foods.
  11. Explain why you shouldn’t have too many sweets or snacks.
  12. Think of something your parents always tell you and explain why it is or isn’t true.
  13. Are you the oldest, middle, or youngest child in your family? Explain what you like or dislike about your position.
  14. Think about what you want to be when you grow up and explain why you think that would be the best job.
  15. Explain what your favorite thing to do after school is.
  16. Choose your favorite holiday and explain why people celebrate it.
  17. Think about one of your best friends and explain why you like him or her.
  18. Explain what it means to be a good person.
  19. Explain what you would do if you were at a store and couldn’t find your mom or dad.
  20. Choose a type of transportation (car, bike, plane, etc.) and explain why it is beneficial for people who use it.
  21. Explain what you like most about living in our city.
  22. Think of one of your family’s traditions. Explain why it matters to your family and how you perform the tradition.
  23. Explain why it is important for students to learn how to do math.
  24. Think of something that you know how to do well and explain how to do it as if you were teaching someone who didn’t know.
  25. Explain why it is important for students to follow our classroom rules.
  26. Explain what you would do if you saw someone being bullied.
  27. Choose a food that you love and explain what you like about it.
  28. Think of your favorite TV show and explain why you like it better than other programs.
  29. Explain what you like most about summer vacation.
  30. Choose your favorite book and explain what elements made it a good book.
  31. Think about how you feel when someone notices something you’ve done well. Explain what kinds of feelings you get.
  32. Choose one of your favorite activities and explain what you like most about it.
  33. Explain why it is important to help people who are less fortunate than us.

Until next time, write on…

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