Reports & Essays is a Writer’s Workshop unit that focuses on expository writing. Kids will learn writing skills like note-taking, finding good sources, outlining, and organizing information. They will learn to write various types of reports and essays such as book reports, animal reports, five-paragraph essays, and more.
The exercises are engaging, flexible, and high-interest so kids will enjoy the process as well as improve their writing skills.
This is for children of all ages and abilities from 1st graders just learning to write to high schoolers preparing for college work. You can use this unit with your whole family together.
Here’s how to use Reports & Essays:
Step 1: Mini-Lesson
Your writing day will begin with a mini-lesson, a short lesson about grammar, punctuation, word choice, expository writing skills, and more. Mini-lessons appear in sidebars on every page so there are lots to choose from. You don’t need to do all of the mini-lessons in the unit, just pick and choose the ones that look interesting or are skills your kids need to hone!
Step 2: Exercises
All through the unit are exercises to warm your kids up to writing and teach them the skills they need for expository writing in small, easy bites. The exercises are fun and high-interest. Write facts from a non-fiction book on paint chip cards. Label a diagram. Explore your library to learn about resources with a fact find hunt. And so much more!
The exercises mostly end up in your Journal. They are not graded and are private unless the writer wants to share them. Spelling, grammar, and mechanics don’t matter. This is about getting ideas down on paper!
Like the mini-lessons, you don’t need to do all the exercises. Pick and choose the ones you like. You’ll be coming back to this unit next year so be sure to save some good ideas for later.
Step 3: Writing Project
To finish off Reports & Essays, each writer will choose a piece of writing from his or her Journal to take through the writing process. That piece of writing will be expanded, corrected, revised, and then published for an audience (probably your family!) where it will get applauded. The projects range from a report on a simple mobile to a five-page literary analysis essay and everything in between.
Then Mom, Dad, or another mentor will carefully and thoughtfully evaluate the finished writing project with help from the Reports & Essays guide. Kids and parents will talk together about what the writer learned and what the writer can make even better.
This unit comes with a Printable Pack of printables that go with exercises and sidebar mini-lessons.
Supplemental Links, Videos, & Resources
There are Pinterest boards, weblinks, and a YouTube video playlist that go with this lesson on a separate page for Writer’s Workshop.