10 Ways to Develop Expository Writing Skills With The New York Times
Great ideas for the classroom.
All About Our Town: Using Brochures to Teach Informational Writing
n this lesson, students in grades 2–4 explore their towns using a variety of print and nonprint resources. By looking at brochures and other informational tools, students learn about some of the purposes for which people read and write. They also practice writing for a specific audience, revising their writing, and working collaboratively to create a brochure for new students just moving into town.
All Across America: Preparing a Travel Guide for a Cross-Country Journey
"Students share experiences of places they have visited or would like to visit. They then create travel guides for trips to take in the United States based on themes from their studies, incorporating both historical and current data about those destinations."
Compare and Contrast Writing
Approaches to teaching this kind of writing.
A "defining moment" in editorial writing
Students will be introduced to the definition mode of writing. Students will learn to define a particular subject by responding in an editorial format. Students will first compose an editorial graphic organizer, which will aid in composing a completed editorial using the writing process. This lesson includes modifications for a Novice Low Limited English student.
Describing a Process or Procedure
Models and a great list of possible topics with short videos. "Making Jellybeans," for example, includes a video from Jelly Belly.
Do You Know How? A Technical Manual for Using Highly Technical 21st Century Devices
Students will define the purpose of the technical manual, conduct research from various sources, organize research and draft a technical manual, and utilize the basic steps in revising, editing and producing work.
EssayPunch.com from Merit Audio Visual
This online tutorial takes students through the process of writing a short essay.
Essays of Definition: Lively Writing through Professional Models
This lesson examines a professional model of a definition paper and asks students to analyze and imitate the structures of using anecdotes and cause and effect to elaborate an essay of definition. It is designed for grade 9.
Examining Effective Openers and Closures in Writings
Students will listen to a reading of Dr. Seuss' and Jack Prelutsky's Hooray for Difendoofer Day! Students will then work cooperatively to edit one another's rough drafts of an analytical essay, focusing on openers and closures. This lesson is designed for high school.
Explaining How Things Work
Students watch a demonstration, ask questions, take notes, and write a description of a process.
Designed for middle school, this page offers graphics and an approach for developing paragraphs with a beginning, middle, and end.
Going the "Write" Direction
We've all gotten bad directions and if the truth were known, we have all given poor directions. So we are going to hone our skills in giving (writing) and following (reading) directions. This lesson is designed for high school.
The Graphic Organizer
The Graphic Organizer site. Scroll down to find links for a variety of graphic organizers and for ways to use them effectively.
How to Build a Snowman
During this lesson, students begin to understand how important specific directions are to a project. Students will demonstrate detailed writing in order to instruct their classmates on how to build a snowman. Designed for grade 4.
How to do a Close Reading
This handout offers suggestions for reading carefully as part of the research process.
How Stuff Works
This site is a good resource for students who are doing process analysis papers. It is easy to navigate, and the information is reliable.
Literary Pilgrimages: Exploring the Role of Place in Writers’ Lives and Work
In this lesson, students consider the power of place in their own lives, research the life of a writer and develop travel brochures and annotated maps representing the significance of places in the writer’s life.
Narrative, Argumentative and Informative Writing About Baseball
Students read a New York Times article about musician Jay-Z becoming a sports agent. They write a summary. This writing task is the third of four prompts here. Common Core Standards indicated. Don't miss the link to Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First?"
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
An instructional site for students. Organized both by steps in the process and by types of writing. An excellent site for students -- teachers may get some good ideas, too.
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Includes links to grammar, modes of writing, and job-related writing.
A variety of teacher-tested ideas.
Tiny Texts: Google Doodles
A suggestion for a great writing task using Google Doodles as a focus. A little research, a little writing, a little creativity — a great activity for upper elementary and older!
Tradin' Places from Kodak.com
Designed for grade 8, this project takes pen pals to the next level, involving a slide-tape presentation based on research of the student's community.
Write On! Step-by-Step Paragraph and Report Writing
This unit plan integrates Nancy Carlson's book How to Lose All Your Friends into a lesson on writing. It is designed for third graders. This 34-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.
Writing a Comparative Analysis, a handout from The Writing Center at Harvard
Explanation of both traditional compare/contrast and "lens" papers, suggestions for organization.
Writing to Explain: Creating How-to Scripts and Demonstrations
In this lesson, students examine and evaluate a Times slide show that explains how to pack 10 days’ worth of clothes in a carry-on suitcase. They then generate qualities of good process analysis or procedural writing and create their own physical, video or explanatory, audio demonstrations or explanations.