Outlining Essays (Grades 3-6)
Brainstorm before you start writing.
Teach students to brainstorm story ideas in preparation of writing an expressive essay.
Students will brainstorm story ideas in preparation of writing an expressive essay.
- Pen or pencil
- Dry erase board (optional)
- Dry erase markers (optional)
- Outlining Essays (Grades 3-6) Student Reproducible
1. Review the definition of personal expressive writing (writing that allows you to express your own thoughts and feelings through a letter, journal, essay, etc.) with students. Tell students that they will be preparing to write their own expressive essay on the topic: Why does your teacher deserve a classroom makeover?
Lead a discussion about the elements that make up an expressive essay. Use the following example to illustrate these elements:
Introduction: Begin your essay by stating the main idea. In an expressive essay, the main idea will be a personal experience, belief, or feeling that is meaningful to you. One way to hook your reader is to express your main idea with a short personal account of an important event in your life.
Body: The body of your essay supports your main idea by using examples. Be sure to describe your examples clearly so that your reader will understand your position, or point of view.
Conclusion: The conclusion of your essay should summarize your main idea. Restate your feelings and beliefs to make sure your main idea is understood.
2. Distribute copies of Outlining Essays (Grades 3-6) Student Reproducible (PDF). Have students complete their outlines in preparation for writing an essay in Lesson 2.
Bonus Challenge: Have students make a graphic organizer to plan their essay. They may begin by writing their main idea in a circle. They may add additional circles or "webs" to describe their supporting details and conclusion.
Marker Tips: Illustrate outlines on the dry erase board. Have students take turns using different colored dry erase markers to fill in the title, main idea, opening sentence, details 1-3, and summary sentence.
Photos, top to bottom: © Image 100/Getty Images; © Photodisc/Getty Images.
The following student templates support the development of essay writing skills.
Understanding the question [Word 9.1 KB]
This template helps students to break down an essay question so they understand what they need to do before they start to write or research their topic. For more information on breaking down essay questions, see the Essay question page of this site.
Essay plan template [Word 21.57 KB]
This template provides students with a framework for planning an argumentative essay. For more information on essay planning, see the Plan your essay page on this site.
Organising essay ideas [Word 13.46 KB]
This template supports students to physically manipulate and reorder ideas to help with impoving essay structure. For more information on essay structure, see The writing process page on this site.
Note-taking outline [Word 41.36 KB]
This template provides students with a basic note-taking framework. For more information on note-taking, see the Learn page Organise notes on this website.
Bibliography template [Word 19.88 KB]
This template provides a structure students can use to record references they find during the research process. For more information on referencing see Bibliographies and the Research skills sections of this site.