ALEX Lesson Plan


Expository Essay: State Trip

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lorie Dorroh
System: Franklin County
School: Franklin County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 12291


Expository Essay: State Trip


After researching a place/event of interest in Alabama, students write a five-paragraph essay. Students include maps and written directions to the location, describe activities and/or events associated with this location, include in this profile.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
  • Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
  • Identifying digital file types
  • TC2 (3-5)
    8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
    Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • ELA2015 (5)
    11. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text. [RI.5.2]
    ELA2015 (5)
    12. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text. [RI.5.3]
    ELA2015 (5)
    38. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.5.1]
    a. Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences. [L.5.1a]
    b. Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses. [L.5.1b]
    c. Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions. [L.5.1c]
    d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.* [L.5.1d]
    e. Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor). [L.5.1e]
    ELA2015 (5)
    39. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.5.2]
    a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.* [L.5.2a]
    b. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. [L.5.2b]
    c. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it'), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve'). [L.5.2c]
    d. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. [L.5.2d]
    e. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.5.2e]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will search the Internet for information about a site/event of interest in the state. Students will organize researched information into a five-paragraph essay. Students will participate in peer review and revise essays to meet rubric requirements.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will utilize a map or online resource to obtain directions to the site/event to be included in the essay.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Encyclopedia, atlas

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, word processing software, printer, encyclopedia CD-ROM (if available)


    Students should have prior instruction in the writing process, the five-paragraph essay, and the Alabama Writing Assessment Guidelines for expository writing.

    1.)Students will participate in a teacher-led brainstorming session about activities and places of interest in or around the school community.

    2.)Teacher will model an introductory paragraph using student ideas from the brainstorming session.

    3.)Teacher will instruct students to brainstorm places of interest within their home state (pre-writing). If possible, allow Internet browsing of the following site for ideas.
    (Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel)
    The official website for tourism, vacation planning.

    4.)Students will choose one place of interest (mentioned or self-selected) to research for a five-paragraph expository essay. Essays should include written directions and a map to the location, an explanation of activities and events associated with the location, and other important or interesting information about this location.
    An interactive site for maps and directons to towns worldwide

    5.)Students will begin the research process using CD-ROMs, Alabama Virtual Library resources, encyclopedias, and an Internet map/direction website or atlas.
    (Alabama Virtual Library)
    Contains a wide variety of age-appropriate research tools

    6.)Students will use gathered information to construct an introductory paragraph, three topic paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.
    (The introductory paragraph should include a thesis which includes the three topic areas.)
    Use of the graphic organizer (3 MI flowchart) from Makes Sense Strategies will help students organize topic/paragraph information.

    7.)Students will peer edit and confer with the teacher concerning their rough drafts. Teacher and students should use the Alabama Writing Assessment guidelines (see Assessment section).

    8.)Students will write or type the final draft from their edited rough copies.

    9.)Students should share their essays. A class state tour booklet will then be constructed for the classroom.


    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Rubric for the Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing at will be used for evaluation.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.