Teacher-created Units for Expository Writing


9th Grade Oral History: Biography/Social Reality Research Project •
This is a two-part project designed to introduce 9th grade students to the basic process of conducting an interview and using information from that interview to incorporate into a research project.

  9th Grade Marijuana and Teens •    Handout: Fact Sheet •
This unit is a response to a non-fiction article. Students will read an article about the effects of Marijuana on teens and write an expository essay that reports some of these effects. Students will use the article as their only source. This unit is designed to help students form an idea of the basic structure of an expository essay without given them the challenge of also having to collect, analyze, and interpret many sources.
  9th Grade Exploring Thematic Motifs in The House on Mango Street •
The stylistic and thematic richness of Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street provides many opportunities to strengthen student writing and inquiry. As an on-going part of our study of the text, students keep vignette logs--in-depth studies of individual vignettes-in which they summarize, identify thematic motifs, and explore connections between vignettes . In the course of writing these vignette logs, students explore the following motifs: Freedom/Entrapment, Growth, Maturity, Identity, Gender Roles, Racism, House / Home / Neighborhood / Community, and Poverty.
  9th Grade Social Justice Research Paper •
A powerful goal to have for 9th graders is for them to become more aware of their community, and specifically their role and influence in their community. This unit seeks to make students aware of key issues in their community, and identify and voice changes they believe should be made.
  9th Grade Expository Writing Unit : Our Oakland •    Handouts •
This expository writing unit is part of a much larger unit which aims to develop interviewing skills. In this unit, students will identify issues of concern in their Oakland communities. They will learn how to write good questions. Students will also learn the etiquette of interviewing strangers and gain practice doing so. The information they gather from conducting these interviews will be used as evidence in their final expository essay.

Teacher-Created Units for Persuasive Essay Writing

  7th Grade Persuasive Essay Unit by Emily Wiseman (Montera) 
In this two week writing unit students took a position on one of the following topics: the educational benefits of homework, whether or not junk food should be banned from school cafeterias, and why Obama, Clinton, or McCain should be elected in the 2008 presidential election. Students learned how to do internet research on their topic and write persuasive essays.
  7th Grade Persuasive Essay Unit by Candace Cofield (Coliseum College Prep) •
This unit is an expansion of the 7th grade World History Assessment pilot integrated into a 6 week unit on the Middle Ages in Europe. Students wrote a persuasive essay taking a position on the positive or negative effect of the Crusades.

Teacher-Created Units for Response to Literature Essay Writing

  8th Grade Response to Literature (Poetry) Unit by Greg Holtz (Elmhurst) 
This four week unit focuses on teaching students about figurative language, tone, and forms and purposes of poetry. Students were exposed to a variety of poems that illustrated various literary devices, and finished the unit by analyzing and responding to one of the poems in a mock poetry critique for an online poetry magazine.
  8th Grade Response to Literature (Poetry) Unit by Lia Izenberg and Lisa Sindorf (Edna Brewer) 
This three week unit was part of a larger unit on poetry and an introduction to writing a response to literature essay. Students wrote a response to literature essay based on Emily Dickenson’s poem “Hope.”
  8th Grade Response to Literature (Poetry) Unit by Lia Izenberg & Lisa Sindorf (Edna Brewer) 
This four week unit focuses on teaching students about figurative This three week unit was part of a larger unit on poetry, and an introduction to writing a response to literature essay. It is a different variation on the unit posted above. Students studied theme, mood, and tone, and wrote a response to literature essay illustrating these literary devices in one of the poems that they studied in the poetry unit.
  7th Grade Expository Essay – Kristen Caputo (ASCEND) •
The purpose of this four to eight week unit is for students to research and become thoroughly knowledgeable about slavery and the abolition movement in U.S. history. After working in groups/pairs to research a famous abolitionist, students write an expository essay which prepares them for the digital storytelling unit to follow.
  6th Grade Response to Literature Unit by Jeni Frudden and Kara Virgallito (Edna Brewer) •
This two week writing unit follows a novel unit based on the book The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake. The skeleton of the novel unit plus key activities that helped students with analytical skills needed for the essay unit are included. Students were given a choices of prompts: describe how a character changes or describe the theme of the novel as shown through character, symbol, and and connection to your own life. The essay unit follows the Step Up To Writing format.
  6th Grade Response to Literature Unit – Andrea Maoki (Melrose Leadership Academy) •
This is a four week unit designed to teach 6th grade students in a duel immersion (Spanish and English) Language Arts class to write a response to literature based on the science fiction story “All in A Summer Day” by Ray Bradbury. Students are introduced to literary analysis and theme through fairy tales. Stories and scaffolding for essay are available in both English and Spanish.


Teacher-Created Writing Curriculum Aligned With Unit of Open Court

  5th Grade Narrative Writing Unit •
5th Grade Narrative Writing Unit Overview •
This is a a six week writing unit was designed to be used in conjunction with the 5th Grade Open Court Theme "Going West" Students publish two 5 paragraph projects: a personal narrative followed by a biography report. Students also have opportunities to write a friendly letter and a tall tale.
back to top
back to top