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6 Best Writing Lessons Ever

Informational Writing- Grade 5 - Beach

Grade 5 Beach Sample Image
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Informational/Opinion Writing
Grade 5 Sample
The Beach

Feedback for Improvement

Topic:  the beach
Main Idea #1:  shells
Main Idea #2:  relaxation
Main Idea #3:  volleyball

This young author has attempted to write an informational piece about the beach.  There are some things that he has done well, but there is also room for improvement, especially when it comes to transitions.  Although most of the sentences flow nicely, there are others that do not.

In addition, a conversation about genre would be helpful.  Although this assignment was to write an informational piece, and this does provide information to the reader, it is full of opinion language (I love...Ahhh...now that’s relaxing…) suggests that the author’s purpose is to express and support a strong opinion about the topic.  This is an important distinction to make, and one that the author needs to be clear about.  A straight piece of informational writing should stick to objective information rather than these types of opinion statements. 

What worked:

Let’s look closer at the strengths first. This student has chosen broad yet distinct main ideas/reasons for the beach experience.  He elaborates on these main ideas/reasons throughout the piece and does a fair job supporting them with details.  The use of the detail generating questions, “What does it look like?  Why is that important?” would help this author further elaborate.


Feedback with Prescriptive Lesson:

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

Transitions and Sentence Variety: A closer look reveals an area where there is room for growth.  The second paragraph reads...The first reason I love about the beach is that there is many different types of shells.  Later in the paper he writes...Another way to relax is to close your eyes, hear the sounds, and take a deep breath.  These are weak and predictable transitions. This child needs help with sentence variety.  

  • Section 2 Lesson 10: Alternatives to Boring, Redundant Main Idea/Reason Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 11: Revising Boring, Redundant Main Idea/Reason Sentences
  • Section 2 Lesson 12: Main Idea Blurbs into Sentences
  • Section 4 Lesson 11: Transitional Words and Phrases

With the Empowering Writers curriculum, students are exposed to transition sentence starters to help with sentence flow.  Let’s look at an example...

  • It’s amazing to think about the different types of shells, instead of...The first reason...
  • Who wouldn’t enjoy closing their eyes, listening to nature sound, while taking deep breaths?   instead of...Another way.

Young writers need to be given a variety of transition words and phrases to use in place of redundant, predictable language.  Once you give them the words to use and teach them how to make their sentences flow naturally, one to another, it will make a big impact in their writing.

Recommended Resources


Download “The Beach" Informational Writing - Grade 5

Topics:Student Writing SamplesInformational Writing