A Time to Write: Practicing Writing with a Expository Prompt

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SWBAT use the writing process to respond to a writing assessment prompt.

Big Idea

Students practice responding to a writing prompt to prepare for the state assessment.


5 minutes

This lesson is the second practice session students have for writing. The first session was focused on narrative writing. This students are practice writing an expository writing sample. 

As I did the day before, I review the directions and prompt, answering any questions student have and making sure they all fully understand the task. We also review the time needed to practice each step of the writing process, focusing especially on what they reflected on from the last time they practiced writing. If they didn't have enough time to revise last time then maybe they need to make more time to do that this time, etc. We also review the checklist that is part of the directions and can help them make sure they have met all of the expectations of the prompt.

Main Activity

45 minutes

The directions have been read, students have the supplies they need and the timer is set, now students write. 

They start with the prewriting and then drafting. They typically draft on a separate piece paper, revise and edit before rewriting the new version in the booklet. I ask them to do all of the work except rewriting it in the booklet. Tomorrow, students will review the checklist and rubric to revise their writing before writing it in the booklet.


5 minutes

Just like the previous practice on narrative writing, students finish this lesson by reflecting on the process. We talk about the timing, the writing, and answer any questions they have. They reflected this time that it seemed easier than the first time. When prompted to say more, students said that felt more comfortable with the process because this is the second (or more) time doing it which allowed them to focus on what they were writing without worrying too much about whether or not they were going to finish or have something to write about. They also felt like expository writing was easier because the structure was more clear or defined. Although, not all students fel this way. 

Students who were not able to finish a draft in class can work on it during free time or finish it at home. They will need a completed draft for the next lesson.