Expository Writing At Its Finest!

Another quick post tonight. I just HAD to share this with you. One of my 4th graders wrote this paper about her lifetime friend, and it is beautiful…just beautiful! The prompt was to explain why friends are important. Here goes:

Before I went to school friends were my smooth, plastic, pretty dolls. The ones I would have tea parties with, show my new teeth to, and the ones I would tell my fears to. Even though they were plastic, they were important to me, not only were they my friends they were my whole childhood.

Once I got to 2nd grade I got a beautiful pal that really meant a lot to me.  Surprizingly she was not plastic, and her name was *Molly*.  She made me think, “Wow, she is so fun, smart, and cool.” (Boom, triple compliment!) And the one I would share secrets with, show our wiggly teeth to, and share our journeys with.

Now that I am in fourth grade she is still my fun, crazy, funny, pretty, best friend.  And she still means the world to me.  We have sobbed together, cackled together, and we have been on a long journey together.  We have changed but our friendship has not.  Now we talk about gymnastics, fashion, celebraties, and things we never thought of before.

In the future i hope we could still be besties so we can go shopping, on a vacation, and even to college together and we can talk about our future together.  Even if we are not friends in the future, I will always remember my pretty, sweet, funny and cute best sister by heart.

WOW!  Isn’t that amazing?!?!  A FOURTH GRADER WROTE THAT!!!  I’m attaching this in PDF format for you to share with your students if you need some writing to share.  😉  You can download it here.

**Just a reminder that you can enter my TpT giveaway until 2/6.  You can get an extra 2 entries every day that you tweet about it!  Enter here.



  1. That was beautiful. What do you use to grade or score your papers?

    • Kayla Shook says:

      *sigh* I’m still using a rubric from The Writing Academy. I’ve been planning to make my own simplified rubric from the STAAR rubric, but needless to say, it’s still on my To Do list. : /

      • ok thank you. Do you have any others that you could share? My students love reading them and hopefully it will give them some ideas. We just finished our first expository and are working on our second. However some sound too formulaic. They are also having a problem grabbing the readers attention. We have been using Killgallon’s sentence composing book. I am requiring them to use those type of sentences in their writing. I would love for them to use thoughtshots but I don’t feel confident in teaching them yet.

        • Kayla Shook says:

          Hi, Janet! I will be posting more expository essays this weekend…hopefully tomorrow! I brought them home to type them up and get them on my blog. Our students also just finished up their last set of benchmarks and had to write an expository and narrative essay, so I’ll try to get more narratives uploaded, too. I think most people are still struggling with the expository, so I’ll post as many as I can!

          Have you tried using text structures with your kids? They sound MUCH less formulaic when they use those! Of course, we WANT the reader to be able to tell the main idea of each paragraph, but NOT formulaic. Those text structures really help with that. There are several posted on my Writer’s Workshop page that you can print off and use. At this point, I would pick only 2 or 3 to use with them since that test is coming up so quickly. That would give them a chance to write with those several times and get used to using them and memorize them. You can also use the Grade 4 Remediation packet by Gretchen Bernabei to show kids how other 4th graders have used text structures…or some of the sample writing I’ve posted. I always post the structure they used. :)

          Hope this helps! Be sure to check back soon for more writing samples!

  2. This is awesome! I can’t wait to show this to my students.


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