Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Could You Elaborate on That?

Donna Woods


This lesson teaches the parts of an expository essay and how to organize and write an expository piece from a given topic.


The student attempts to establish a clear focus with little or not irrelevant or repetitious information.

The student develops supporting ideas by presenting facts and information that relate to the focus.

The student develops anecdotes or examples to support and elaborate upon reasons.

The student creates a logical organizational pattern appropriate to expository writing (including beginning, middle, end).

The student uses appropriate expository transitions to relate ideas within and between paragraphs.


- Pencil, glue, and one piece of notebook paper for each student
- Overhead projector and pen
- Overhead transparency of black and white copy of -Lucy- essay (attached file)
- Overhead transparency of color copy of -Lucy- essay. (attached file)
- One yellow, red, blue, and green marker or highlighter for each student
- One copy per student of black/white copy of -Lucy- essay (attached file)
- Overhead transparency of expository outline (color copy) (attached file)
- Two copies per student of expository outline (black/white copy) (attached file)
- One copy per student of the black/white copy of the expository -Anna- essay
- One business size letter envelope per student
- One overhead transparency of the color copy of the essay -Anna- (attached file)
- One overhead transparency of the black/white copy of -Anna- (attached file)
-One copy of the Scoring Rubric (attached file)


1. Make sure each student has the following supplies: Scissors, glue, red, green, yellow, and blue highlighter or marker.
2. Make overhead transparencies of: (attached file)
- black/white copy of -Anna- essay
- colored copy of -Lucy- essay
- color copy of expository outline
- color copy of -Anna- essay
3. Make one copy of the following handouts for each student (attached file):
- black/white copy of -Lucy- essay
- black/white copy of -Anna- essay
4. Make two copies of the black/white expository outline for each student. (attached file)
5. Make one copy of scoring Rubirc (attached file)
6. Cut apart the paragraphs of the student black/white copies of the -Anna- essay and put each cut up essay in a separate envelope.
7. Cut apart the black/white overhead transparency of the -Anna- essay.


Day One
1. Discuss with the students a special friend you have and some reasons that friend is special to you.
2. Have the students share a few reasons why a friend is special to them.
3. Write the following prompt on the board: -Everyone has friends who are special. Think about a special friend you have. Now explain to the reader of your paper why your friend is special to you.-
4. Hand out the black and white copy of the -Lucy- essay and read it to the class.
5. Display on the overhead the outline of an expository essay and handout the expository essay outline to the students and discuss. Explain to them that the intro tells what you are going to write about. Each reason lists only one reason and the extension tells more about that reason and the elaboration tells a personal story or an example of the extension. The conclusion sums up what you just wrote.
6. Have the students use the yellow marker or highlighter to mark the introduction. Check by displaying the colored copy of the Lucy essay on the overhead. Keep all other parts covered so that only the yellow introduction is shown.
7. Reread the 2nd paragraph and discuss each part. 1st reason, extension and elaboration. Have students highlight in red the 1st reason, the extension of that reason in blue and the elaboration in green. Check by displaying the appropriate part on the overhead. Repeat the same for the next two paragraphs and the conclusion.
8. Handout envelops with the Anna essay that has the paragraphs cut apart.
9. Have students paste the parts onto the expository outline.
10. Display the expository outline on the overhead.
11. Help students check their work by placing the cut apart overhead parts of the Anna essay in the appropriate place on the overhead expository outline and discuss.
Day 2
1. Give each student another copy of the expository outline. Review what was learned the day before about the parts of an essay. Have them write about their special friend on the outline and collect.
Day 3
1. Conference with each student to revise the outline from day 2.
Day 4
1. Display the colored copy of the Anna essay on the overhead. discuss how each part is written so that there are five paragraphs.
2. Hand back the essay outlines from day 2. Have them write it in the five paragraph format.
3. Collect and evaluate using the rubric (attached file)


The expository essays will be graded based on the criteria in the rubric. (attached file)


To extend the lesson, have the students exchange their final essays and each could highlight or underline the parts using the color code introduced in the lesson. (reason, extension, elaboration)

Attached Files

A copy of the handouts and the transparencies needed for this lesson.     File Extension: pdf

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