This seven week live mini-course will introduce your middle schooler to the basics of expository writing. Consider this your training wheels for research writing so that you can hit the ground running when you get to high school.
This is an essential skillset for all students, and especially for those who plan to take intermediate and advanced writing classes in high school. This is a great starting point for any middle schooler. . Each week centers on a different guiding question and some examples include, “How do I choose a topic?”, “How do I summarize what I’ve been reading?”, and “How do I know my sources are trustworthy?” We begin at the very beginning—What is expository writing?—and students conclude the course with a five-paragraph expository essay.
Expository writing is designed to be shared, which is why we focus not only on clear, well-sourced writing, but also on how to talk about what students are writing. Just as important as the writing is being able to clearly communicate that writing to a variety of audiences. In order to practice that skillset, students also produce a five-slide research presentation based on their research.
Each week includes both reading and writing assignments designed to scaffold students toward a successful expository essay and short presentation. We meet for live, one-hour classes each Friday, although students are welcome to view the recordings if they cannot attend synchronously. Steps on the scaffold include identifying a topic, finding sources, giving proper credit to other authors, and putting ideas together.
|Section 1: Section 1: Middle School Expository Writing||Target grades: 6-8||Prereqs: none||Product: research report|
|Week||Guiding question||Product stage||Other notes|
|1||What is expository writing?||Venn diagram: expository writing vs. another type of writing
Identify two examples of expository writing and explain your reasoning
|2||How do I choose a topic?||Questionnaire (KWL)|
|3||How do I find resources?
How do I know my sources are trustworthy?
|4||How do I give proper credit to other authors?||MLA references page
|5||How do I summarize what I’ve been reading?||Summarize five sources
|6||How do I put my ideas together?||Introductory and closing paragraphs|
|7||How do I share my ideas?||Five-slide powerpoint with main ideas|
Who should enroll?
This class is designed for middle school students (grades 6-8) and is best for students who have some familiarity with the structure of a five-paragraph essay. This class may be paired with content classes (e.g., social studies, government, or science) and student may use the subjects of those classes for their expository writing.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I believe in ample, individualized feedback so that each student can successfully engage with the expository writing process in a way that is exciting and intellectually satisfying. Expository writing should center on things that interest students. Rubrics are available for each writing assignment that address the major components of quality expository writing. Students will receive feedback via Canvas, and each student will have at least one session of one-on-one feedback time in advance of the final submission.
Parent support is essential to success in this class, and I welcome any questions parents have throughout the class. Parents and families are welcome to contact me before registering at <email> [email protected] </email> and new registrants will receive a welcome email with additional startup information.
Meet Dr. Lauren Bailes: