Explanatory Essays 4th Grade

In fourth grade, students are starting to prepare for middle school, when nonfiction writing is practiced in all subjects. What’s more, under the Common Core Standards, nonfiction writing is more and more essential to the curriculum. Learn more about your fourth grader’s writing under Common Core. According to the standards, students should be learning three types of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Like a report, the purpose of this type of writing is to convey information accurately with facts, details, and supportive information.

Narratives

These can be stories or screenplays or other fiction written in the first, second, or third person.

Opinion pieces

In opinion writing, students encourage readers to accept their opinion about something by writing what they and why.


Fourth grade writing sample #1

John Cabot and the Rediscovery of North America

In this child’s report on John Cabot, you’ll see a few important features. First, there are five sections, each with a bolded header announcing what sort of information follows. Note that the fifth section is the bibliography, where everyone can see the two sources this student relied on for her information.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

 


Fourth grade writing sample #2

Big Book of Evolution

Dylan’s report on evolution is also divided into sections. Note that Dylan uses visuals throughout this report. What’s more, the report has a table of contents at the beginning, and at the end, Dylan cites his sources for the written information and the visuals.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

 


Fourth grade writing sample #3

A Tale of Despereaux

This is a classic fourth grade book report. Note that the student uses headers to announce what type of information follows: the summary, the characters, and the writer’s recommendation about the book.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

 


Fourth grade writing sample #4

Zoos Should Close

This student writes an opinion piece about why she thinks zoos should close. Note that she cites multiple reasons with examples of why zoos aren’t good for animals. She also addresses a counterargument and refutes it, which isn’t actually required until seventh and eighth grade.

Type of writing: Opinion writing

 


See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fifth grade.

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Writing an Informative/Explanatory/Expository Piece

What is an explanatory/expository essay?
The expository essay is a kind of essay that asks students to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.
Below is a list of reading patterns:
(READ THROUGH THEM CAREFULLY)
In third grade, you learned how to use a graphic organizer.  Now, you will choose what kind of expository essay you would like to write and pick a corresponding graphic organizer to help you write your essay!
Classify the winter and summer sports -- Classification
Use the links below to help you answer this question and then use the graphic organizer to help you organize your thoughts for your essay:
[Print the graphic organizer below!]
classification.2.docx
File Size: 15 kb
File Type: docx
Download File


Now that you have picked a topic and filled out your graphic organizer, it's time to complete your essay!
How do we set up an expository essay?
Paragraph 1: The Introduction
  • Topic Sentence (Main Idea for your paper)
  • Example Sentence #1 (Subtopic)
  • Example Sentence #2 (Subtopic)
  • Example Sentence #3 (Subtopic)
  • Concluding Sentence that repeats the Main Idea
Paragraph 2: Example #1
  • Topic Sentence Example #1 (from the Introduction)
  • 3 Examples sentences that prove your Topic Sentence
  • Concluding Sentence that repeats Example #1
Paragraph 3: Example Paragraph #2
  • Topic Sentence Example # 2 (from the Introduction)
  • 3 Examples that prove your Topic Sentence
  • Concluding Sentence that repeats Example #2
Paragraph 4: Example Paragraph #3
  • Topic Sentence Example #3 (from the Introduction)
  • 3 Examples that prove your Topic Sentence
  • Concluding Sentence that repeats Example #3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
  • Topic Sentence (Main Idea for your paper)
  • Example Sentence #1 (Subtopic)
  • Example Sentence #2 (Subtopic)
  • Example Sentence #3 (Subtopic)
  • Concluding Sentence that repeats the Main Idea
Adopted from: http://www2.asd.wednet.edu/pioneer/barnard/wri/essay_model.htm

My dog, Romeo, is the best pet anyone could have. He is beautiful and easy to care for. Playing with him is lots of fun. He always takes care of me. There isn't a better pet anywhere.

Romeo is a beautiful tricolor Sheltie. He is mostly black with white and a bit of brown. Caring for him is easy because I simply have to make sure he has fresh water and food every day. I exercise him by throwing his toys. Romeo is a good pet because he is nice looking and doesn't require much care.

Romeo is lots of fun to play with. He loves to play catch. He follows me around the house with a toy and drops it on my foot so I will kick it. He can catch just about anything, but his favorite is chasing a Frisbee. I really have fun playing with Romeo.

Romeo takes care of me. He always follows me when I leave a room. When I am sitting on the couch he plops down right beside me. When we are outside in the woods he always makes sure that I keep up with the rest of the family. He always watches out for me.

As you can see, Romeo is a great pet. I am proud of him and he doesn't require much care. Playing with him is always enjoyable. He watches over me and keeps me safe. Romeo is absolutely the best pet anyone could even have!

Adopted from: http://www2.asd.wednet.edu/pioneer/barnard/wri/essay_model.htm

Do you know what type of expository essay this is?

Now, open the blank word document below and get started but be sure to use your graphic organizer to help you and take a look at the check list and rubric below:
Use this check list and rubric to check your work:
_____ 1. Did I write what I wanted to write?

_____ 2. Did I use information from my graphic organizer?

_____ 3. Did I tell the purpose of my writing in the beginning?

_____ 4. Will my readers understand what I am saying?

_____ 5. Did I use details to explain?

_____ 6. Do I have an introduction, body, and conclusion?

_____ 7. Do my sentences begin differently?

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2a Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2b Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2c Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2e Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

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