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Five Paragraph Essay Examples Fifth Grade

YEAH...we did it.  My class wrote their first five paragraph essay and there were no tears...including mine!  I am so proud of my fourth graders.


The first lesson that I did with the kids was discuss  narrative vs. expository writing.  We created a great anchor chart for the room.

Then, the children brainstormed memorable events.  We talked about different feelings to think about memories and memorable events in their lives. (ex. happy, scared, sad, nervous, etc.)  We also talked about narrowing down the topics. (ex. trip to Disney vs. ride on Space Mountain)  They choose an idea and I had them draw a detailed picture that helps tell the story.  I wanted a visual for their memory.  We had read a story called "Family Pictures" in our basal.  The book had great illustration that told stories.  I also read "Tar Beach" which is a personal narrative.  We talked about the story quilts of Faith Ringold.  I had the students draw a quilt border on their illustrations.

Next, we did a mini-lesson on great beginnings using ideas from empowering writers and a unit from Rundee's Room on TPT (has great posters and resources).  We made another anchor chart.  The kids wrote their great beginnings on a Four Square graphic organizer in the center of the paper.  The children used a piece of white drawing paper to create a four square.  

The next step was writing a major event from the beginning, middle and end on the four square.  Then we went back and added details under each major event using bulleted ideas.  After that the children wrote their feeling for the closing  in the fourth box.

Once the organizer was complete we added a transition word to each box and circled it.  There are many lists of transition words on the web and some ideas in the "Four Square" book.  I also modeled how to add details to the introduction and conclusion. The intro might include who, what, where, and when.  The ending could have thoughts, connection, hopes, etc. 

The children had no problems taking their four square graphic organizers and putting them into paragraphs on paper.  They still need reminders about indenting on a new line  when starting a new paragraph.

The revising and editing process involved making an anchor chart.  I had them using two different colored pens for this step.  Revising is blue and editing is green.  They completed this process with a buddy and then by themselves.  I did the final conference in red.  My anchor chart was a mess so I typed up one for the room.  The font is teachers's pet and is size 48 if you would like to make your own.

Click on the images on the left to download:

My children copied over their stories and added creative catchy titles.  They will be saved in a hard cover portfolio book along with their illustrations. 

We spent about 2-3 weeks on our personal narratives.

Now on to the next piece... 

Expository writing here we come!!!!!

When it comes to writing, fifth grade is a red-letter year. To prepare for the demands of middle school and high school writing, fifth graders should be mastering skills required for strong nonfiction writing. Learn more about your fifth grader’s writing under Common Core. All students should be learning three styles of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Reports that convey information accurately with facts, details, and supporting information.

Narrative writing

Stories, poems, plays, and other types of fiction that convey a plot, character development, and/or personal stories.

Opinion writing

Writing in which students try to convince readers to accept their opinion about something using reasons and examples.

Fifth grade writing sample #1

Bipolar Children

This student’s report starts with a decorative cover and a table of contents. The report has eight sections, each clearly labeled with a bold subhead, and includes a bibliography. At the end, this student adds three visuals, two images from the internet with handwritten captions and a related, hand-drawn cartoon.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fifth grade writing sample #2

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Dylan’s report is thorough and well organized. There’s a cover page, an opening statement, and four clear sections with subheads, including a conclusion. You’ll see from the teacher’s note at the end that the assignment is for an opinion piece, but Dylan clearly writes a strong informational/explanatory piece, which is why it’s included here.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fifth grade writing sample #3

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