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6 Best Writing Lessons Ever

Informational Process Piece- Grade 3 - Hamster

Hamster Sample Image
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Grade 3 Informational - Process Writing Project

Feedback for Improvement

Topic:  Hamsters
Main Idea #1:  What do they look like?
Main Idea #2:  Feeding
Main Idea #3:  Why do you need to clean a hamster?
Main Idea #4:  Playing

What worked:

    • Organization: The student has a clear organizational plan for this piece. The piece was written over the course of several days with time for edits and revisions.  
  • Main Idea/Reasons:  The main ideas are reflected in the Table of Contents. Then, each main idea is presented on a separate page. This keeps the student focused on just one main idea at a time. They are broad yet distinct from one another which allows the student to sort and categorize the information.  
    • Elaboration:  The student has some knowledge of the detail generating questions but is not fully applying them to the details. The student used the detail generating questions: “What does it look like? and Why is it important?” most effectively in the main idea paragraph: Why do you need to clean a hamster? 
  • Introduction:  A question was used for the lead-How do you take care of a hamster? This is an effective way to hook the reader in, however the rest of the intro is general in nature with no topic sentence.

Hamster 1 Sample ImageHamster 2 Sample Image copy








Feedback with Prescriptive Lesson:

CHOOSE a Focus Skill: What skill will make the biggest impact for this writer?

Main Ideas Sentences:  The headings on the page seem to stand in for the main idea sentences in most paragraphs. There are two questions that could be inferred to be main idea sentences. This student will benefit from instruction in writing a main idea sentence.

  • Section 2 Lesson 10: Alternatives to Boring, Redundant Main Idea/Reason Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 11: Revising Boring, Redundant Main Idea Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 15: Word Referents - alleviate the use of the word “hamster”

Elaboration:  Learning to use the productive questions to elaborate details:  “What does it look like?  Why is it important?” will greatly improve the overall quality of this piece. In several paragraphs the author uses “What does it look like?” but doesn’t go on to explain why it’s important. Instruction in this section will greatly improve the writing.

  • Section 3 Lessons 1-11  

Introductions:  This piece needs a strong lead and an effective topic sentence that names the specific main ideas in the author’s prewriting plan.

  • Section 5 Lesson 1: Identifying Different Types of Leads and Recognizing Topic Sentences
  • Section 5 Lesson 2: Recognizing Main Ideas/Main Reasons in Topic Sentences
  • Section 5 Lesson 3: Writing an Effective Lead Using a Question
  • Section 5 Lesson 4: Writing an Effective Lead Using Three Techniques

Conclusions:  This student needs to write a strong conclusion paragraph that includes a restatement of the topic and main ideas using word variety to remind the reader what they learned in this informative piece.

  • Section 5 Lesson 8: Recognizing Definitive Language for Strong Conclusions
  • Section 5 Lesson 9: Writing Conclusions

Grammar and Mechanics: The writing had several grammar mistakes. Lessons from Editing, Revising and More for Grade 3 would be a great tool for addressing some of the grammatical errors. 

This student understands the purpose for writing information. There is a clear organization to the writing, the main ideas are distinct from one another and can certainly umbrella a number of details. Once this student learns to elaborate fully on the details, this writer will easily pick up on writing an effective introduction and conclusion.

Recommended Resources


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Topics:Student Writing SamplesInformational Writing