The First Installment of Expository Writing Samples

Again I failed on getting these posted in a timely manner.  I wanted to have this post completed about two weeks ago, but I’m just now finding the time to get it done, mostly because I need time to type them up.  It’s easier to read since we publish our papers on colored paper with designs and what-not all over the sides!

For this very first expository piece, we wrote about someone who we admire.  We used the following text structure: Whom I admire–>Internal Characteristics–>External Skills–>How this person has influenced me.  The text structure was evident in the writing samples I chose to share.

I’m still using a rubric from The Writing Academy because I like it, it’s easy to use, and it helps me give them a number grade based on the different categories of their writing.  I plan to develop one of my own (which I will share), but for now I need time to breathe!

Keep in mind: these are 4th graders who have NEVER written an expository piece before.  I thought most of them were pretty awesome considering their previous lack of experience!

To view 5 Expository Writing papers, click here.

If you are interested in how we planned out our papers, see my blog post titled, “Expository Writing: Gretchen Bernabei Style,” to see our planning sheets and flip books.  You can also access the planning page by visiting the Writer’s Workshop page and clicking on the very last resource listed.

**Question: Do you have a rubric that you use to grade writing?  If so, would you share it with me?  You can send it to me in an email at, or leave a message in the comments as to where I can find it (aka: blog post or website address) if you are a fellow blogger.  I would love to take a look at how you are assessing your students’ knowledge of writing!  Thanks in advance!



  1. Robyn Missall says:

    I am so glad I found your site! I, too, am a 4th grade teacher in Texas.
    I have taught for 22 years…from TAAS toi TAKS and now STAAR. I’ve been struggling with expository. Thak you for posting. I have had training with Gretchen, but was unsure of using it with my students.
    Here I go!
    Thanks again!
    Robyn Missall

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you found my blog, too. I definitely use Gretchen Bernabei’s resources, and my students are movin’ and groovin’ with their writing this year! 😉

      I post pretty often about our writing. I also teach math, so I blog about our progress in that area, too, but my true passion is in writing! If you follow my blog, you will get emails every time I post something new. Also, if you ever have any questions, please ask. I’ve done many of the activities that Gretchen has thought up! I enjoy helping others see the power in her resources and strategies! They have totally transformed my writing class into pure awesomeness! 😉 Thanks again for visiting!

  2. Robyn Missall says:

    Sorry about the typos! Rushing during my lunch time!

  3. Elizabeth S. says:

    WHAT! The one that said they admire you the most did not get the most points! (Just Kidding)…

  4. celeste leon says:

    I am Celeste, Avery’s old babysitter. she asked me to log on and read this and I am sitting on my couch, bawling, and feeilng so blessed to know that little girl. Thanks for posting her essays; looks like I am not the only one who thinks she is amazing. have a wonderful day.


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