Fourth Grade Writing Prompts Expository Essay

FCAT Writing Prompts

TYPE

PROMPT

MAIN IDEA

NarrativeEveryone has been alone at one time or another. Think about a time you were alone at home or someplace else. Tell about a time you were alone so the reader feels that he was there.

Being Alone

NarrativeAs the students entered the room, something strange happened. Each student became smaller until they were only 12 inches tall. Now tell about what happened the day you became only 12 inches tall.

12 Inches Tall

NarrativeThe teacher comes into the classroom and puts a bag on her desk. Then she goes out of the classroom. The bag on her desk begins to move. Now write a story about the day that the teacher put a bag on her desk, and it started to move. Make the reader feel that he or she is there in the classroom.

The Bag on the Teacher's Desk

NarrativeEveryone has done something that he or she will always remember. Think about a time you did something special that you will always remember. Now write a story about the time you did something special that you will always remember.

Something Special You Will Always Remember

NarrativeEveryone has had a day he or she will never forget. Think about a special day. Now write a story about what happened on your special day.

A Day to Never Forget

NarrativeWe have all had vacations away from school. Think about one vacation you had away from school. Write to tell what happened on your vacation from school.

Vacation

NarrativeYou pass a door every day. It is always locked. One day you pass the door it is unlocked. You open the door and walk inside. Write to tell what happens when you open the door and walk inside.

The Locked Door

NarrativeA student has been picked to fly aboard the next space shuttle mission. That student is you. Think about what it would be like to fly on a shuttle mission. Write to tell what happened on your trip into outer space.

Student Shuttle Mission

NarrativeWe have all lost something, or know someone who has lost something. Before you begin writing, think about a time when you or someone else lost something. Write to tell what happened the time you or someone else lost something.

Something Lost

NarrativeWe have all had fun on a school field trip. Think about one field trip you had away from school. Write to tell what happened on your field trip away from school.

School Field Trip

NarrativeAnimals sometimes surprise us by doing something smart. Think about a time an animal did something smart. Now write a story about the time an animal did something smart.

Smart Animals

NarrativeTeachers sometimes like to surprise the class. Think about a time your teacher surprised the class. Now write a story about a teacher surprising a class.

Teacher Surprises Class

NarrativeWhat might happen if a famous person came to visit you? Think about what would happened if a famous person came to visit you. Now write about the time a famous person visited you.

Famous Person Visits

NarrativeSometimes it is fun to imagine what the classroom would be like if you were in charge for a day. Think about what would happen in class if you were in charge for a day. Now tell a story about what it would be like if you were in charge for the day.

In Charge of Class for a Day

NarrativeImagine that you have been visited by a genie. Think about what you would wish for. Now write a story about the time your wishes came true.

Genie Grants You Wishes

ExpositoryWe all have a favorite day of the week. Think about your favorite day of the week. Now write to explain to your reader why this day of the week is your favorite one.

Favorite Day of the Week

ExpositoryEating healthy foods is important. Think about why it is important to eat healthy foods. Explain why you should eat healthy foods.

Eating Healthy Foods

ExpositoryEveryone has a favorite time of the year. Think about the time of year that you like best. Write to explain to your reader why this time of the year is your favorite.

Favorite Time of Year

ExpositorySuppose you could have any animal in the world for a classroom pet. Think about what animal you would like to have for a classroom pet. Now write to explain why this animal should be your classroom pet.

Classroom Pet

ExpositoryMost teenagers have chores. Think about why it is important for teenagers to have chores. Now write to explain why it is important for teenagers to have chores.

Teenager Chores

ExpositoryEveryone has jobs or chores. These may be things people do because they are asked to do them or because doing the job or chose makes them feel good about themselves. Think about one of your jobs or chores. Now explain why you do your job or chore.

Jobs or Chores

ExpositoryMost of us have a special place we like to go. Think about a special place where you like to go. Explain why you like to go to that special place.

Special Place

ExpositoryWe have all heard that it is important to be a good reader. Think about why you think it is important to be a good reader. Write to explain why you think it is important to be a good reader.

Good Reader

ExpositoryWe all have a favorite subject to learn about. Think about one subject that is your favorite to learn about in school. Write to explain why that subject is your favorite.

Favorite Subject

ExpositoryWe have all heard that drugs can be bad for you. Think about ways that drugs can be bad for you. Write to explain to a reader how drugs can be bad for you.

Drugs are Bad

ExpositoryWe all have something that is special for us. It could be a person, place, or thing. Think about something that is special for you. Now write to explain why it is special to you.

Something Special

ExpositoryEveryone has a special way they like to learn. Think about the special way you like to learn. Now write to explain why you like to learn this way.

Special Way You Like to Learn

ExpositoryEveryone has a special activity they like to do outside. Think about the special activity you like to do outside. Now write to explain what make your activity fun.

Special Activity to do Outside

ExpositoryMost of us like something found in nature. Think about something from nature that you like. Now write to explain why you like something from nature.

Like Something Found in Nature

ExpositoryEveryone has an activity they enjoy. Think about an activity you enjoy. Now write to explain why you enjoy the activity.

Activity they Enjoy

ExpositoryWe all have a special person we like. Think about a person that you like. Now write to explain why you like that person.

Person We Like

PersuasiveThe principal of your school has suggested that watching TV causes students' grade to drop. Think about the effect watching TV has on your grades and your friends' grade. Now write to convince your principal whether watching TV causes students' grades to drop.

TV Causes Grades to Drop

PersuasiveThe principal of your school does not think that having candy and soda machines in school is a good idea. Think about the reasons why having a candy and soda machine in school is a good idea. Now write to convince your principal whether having candy and soda machines in school is a good idea for the school.

Candy and Soda Machines in School

PersuasiveThe principal of your school does not agree with having students work in groups to do all their school work. Think about the reasons why students should work in groups to do all their school work. Now write to convince your principal whether students should work in groups to do all their school work.

Student Work in Groups

PersuasiveMany students spend many hours watching television. Think about the positive and negative effects of watching television. Now write to persuade a newspaper editor whether students waste too much time watching television.

Too Much Time Watching Television

PersuasiveSome students begin thinking about dropping out of school after eighth grade. You have a friend who is thinking about dropping out of school after eighth grade. Before you write, think about why your friend should stay in school. Write to convince your friend to stay in school.

Convince Friend to Stay in School

PersuasiveThe school district requires that anyone who participates in an extra curricular activity (in other words a school activity that takes place outside the regular school hours) should not be allowed to participate unless they maintain a 2.0 (C) Grade Point Average. Think about the effects of banning students from participating in extra curricular activities based on their grades. Write to convince your school board to either change this policy or keep it.

Extra Curricular Activity Based on Grades

PersuasiveHomework is part of school and sometimes students have homework on the weekend as well as during the week. Before you begin writing, think about the effects of having homework on the weekend. Now write to convince teachers whether students should have homework on the weekend.

Homework on the Weekend

PersuasiveA local television station is planning to adopt a school.
Students from the school will be featured on commercials, news broadcasts, and other shows. Before you begin writing, think about reasons why your school should be chosen. Now write to persuade the manager of the local television station whether they should adopt your school.

Television Station Adopt a School

PersuasiveThe Florida Legislature is discussing the possibility of adding an hour to the school day to improve students' learning. Before you begin writing, think about the effects of adding an hour to the school day.
Now write to convince the adult reader of your paper on whether to add an hour to the school day.

Adding an Hour to the School Day

PersuasiveIn some schools students wear uniforms. Before you begin writing, think about what is involved when students are required to wear uniforms to school. Now write to persuade a group of principals on whether school uniforms should be required.

School Uniforms

PersuasiveTaking exams is very important for a student's final grade. The teachers at your school have decided to give exams in all subjects on the same day. Before you begin writing, think about the reasons why teachers should not give all the exams on the same day. Now write to convince your teachers whether they should give exams in all subjects on the same day.

Exams in All Subjects on Same Day

PersuasiveA leading doctor has published a research paper which claims that all students should be in bed by 8:00 p.m. in order for them to learn well in school. It is suggested that all televisions should be off and all lights turned out by 8:00 p.m. so that students get a full night's rest. Your parents are considering doing what the doctor suggests.
Before you begin writing, think about how you feel about the doctor's research and going to bed by 8:00 p.m. Now write to convince your parents whether they should listen to the doctor's research about sending you to bed by 8:00 p.m. each night.

Going to Bed by 8:00pm Each Night

PersuasiveThe local newspaper is offering a prize for the Best Relative of the Year. Before you begin writing, think about one of your relatives whom you would like to nominate for this prize. Now write to convince the judges on why your relative should be chosen as the Best Relative of the Year.

Best Relative of the Year

PersuasiveYou have just found what you believe to be a wonderful pet.
Before you begin writing, think about why this would be a wonderful pet to you and think about what you will say to your parents about your pet. Now write to persuade your parents on why you should be allowed to get this wonderful pet.

A Wonderful Pet

PersuasiveThink about all the inventions that have been created throughout history. Before you begin writing, think about the invention that you feel has been the most important invention in history. Now write to convince the reader of your paper why this has been the most important invention in history.

Most Important Invention in History

PersuasiveTime capsules are very important for future generations.
Before you begin writing, think about one item that you think should be placed in the time capsule. Now write to convince the committee why your item should be included in the time capsule.

Time Capsule Item

PersuasiveThe principal of your school is thinking about whether to allow or not allow students to chew gum in school. Think about the effect of having students chew gum in school. Now write to persuade your principal either to allow or not allow students to chew gum in school.

Chewing Gum in School

FCAT Writing Rubric- Score Points in Rubric

The rubric further interprets the four major areas of consideration into levels of achievement.

6 Points. The writing is focused, purposeful, and reflects insight into the writing situation. The paper conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea, and its organizational pattern provides for a logical progression of ideas. The support is substantial, specific, relevant, concrete, and/or illustrative. The paper demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject, clarity in presentation of ideas, and may use creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper. The writing demonstrates a mature command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression. Sentence structure is varied, and sentences are complete except when fragments are used purposefully. Few, if any, convention errors occur in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

5 Points. The writing focuses on the topic, and its organizational pattern provides for a progression of ideas, although some lapses may occur. The paper conveys a sense of completeness or wholeness. The support is ample. The writing demonstrates a mature command of language, including precision in word choice. There is variation in sentence structure, and, with rare exceptions, sentences are complete except when fragments are used purposefully. The paper generally follows the conventions of mechanics, usage, and spelling.

4 Points. The writing is generally focused on the topic but may include extraneous or loosely related material. An organizational pattern is apparent, although some lapses may occur. The paper exhibits some sense of completeness or wholeness. The support, including word choice, is adequate, although development may be uneven. There is little variation in sentence structure, and most sentences are complete. The paper generally follows the conventions of mechanics, usage, and spelling.

3 Points. The writing is generally focused on the topic but may include extraneous or loosely related material. An organizational pattern has been attempted, but the paper may lack a sense of completeness or wholeness. Some support is included, but development is erratic. Word choice is adequate but may be limited, predictable, or occasionally vague. There is little, if any, variation in sentence structure. Knowledge of the conventions of mechanics and usage is usually demonstrated, and commonly used words are usually spelled correctly.

2 Points. The writing is related to the topic but includes extraneous or loosely related material. Little evidence of an organizational pattern may be demonstrated, and the paper may lack a sense of completeness or wholeness. Development of support is inadequate or illogical. Word choice is limited, inappropriate, or vague. There is little, if any, variation in sentence structure, and gross errors in sentence structure may occur. Errors in basic conventions of mechanics and usage may occur, and commonly used words may be misspelled.

1 Point. The writing may only minimally address the topic. The paper is a fragmentary or incoherent listing of related ideas or sentences or both. Little, if any, development of support or an organizational pattern or both is apparent. Limited or inappropriate word choice may obscure meaning. Gross errors in sentence structure and usage may impede communication. Frequent and blatant errors may occur in the basic conventions of mechanics and usage, and commonly used words may be misspelled.


Unscorable. The paper is unscorable because

.                      • the response is not related to what the prompt requested the student to do,

.                      • the response is simply a rewording of the prompt,

.                      • the response is a copy of a published work,

.                      • the student refused to write,

.                      • the response is written in a foreign language,

.                      • the response is illegible,

.                      • the response is incomprehensible (words are arranged in such a way that no meaning is conveyed),

.                      • the response contains an insufficient amount of writing to determine if the student was attempting to address the prompt, or

.                      • the writing folder is blank.

                             © 2003 Florida Department of Education

A well written expository essay focuses on facts. These expository writing prompts will give you a topic or subject to explain, describe, inform, or define. They are free to use under a Creative Commons License.

Want more ideas? Click the "categories" tab at the top of the screen, or visit the homepage.

  1. Write a description of your hometown for someone who has never been there. Include history, important landmarks, etc.
  2. Write about the history and landmarks of a city you want to visit.
  3. Write a short biography of your favorite celebrity.
  4. Write instructions on how to care for a pet.
  5. Write about the history of your favorite toy or game.
  6. Write about the rules of your favorite sport or game.
  7. Write instructions on how to prepare a meal you enjoy.
  8. Write about the traditions surrounding your favorite holiday and where they came from.
  9. Write an objective summary of a television show or movie you dislike.
  10. Compare and contrast one job or class with another job or class.
  11. Describe the view from your window as factually as possible.
  12. Write out instructions for how to ride a bicycle.
  13. Compare and contrast your house with a friend's house.
  14. Make something simple out of building toys or craft supplies, then write instructions on how to make it.
  15. Write a detailed description of the first object on your left.
  16. Write a short biography of a family member.
  17. Write instructions on how to use a phone, camera, or another device you use frequently.
  18. Write about your family history.
  19. Write detailed instructions on how to use an everyday object like scissors or a spoon as though you were explaining it to someone who had never seen the object before.
  20. Compare and contrast your city with another city you have visited.
  21. Write about the type of tree you see most in your area.
  22. Pick a month. Write about the type of weather your hometown generally has in that month.
  23. Compare and contrast two different places you would like to visit.
  24. Write about your birthstone.
  25. Write instructions on how to get dressed.
  26. Write about a historical figure that shares your birthday.
  27. Compare and contrast two different breeds of the same animal, like cats, dogs, or horses.
  28. Compare and contrast your clothes with someone else's.
  29. Write a summary of your favorite book.
  30. Write a detailed description of your work area.
  31. Compare and contrast two different types of hats.
  32. Compare and contrast the book version of a work with the movie version.
  33. Write about an older version of a current type of technology. For example: old telephones, letters or telegrams rather than e-mail, a slide rule or abacus rather than a calculator.
  34. Compare and contrast two types of fruit.
  35. Compare and contrast two objects that are the same color.
  36. Write instructions on how to clean your room.
  37. Compare and contrast the first book in a series with the last.
  38. Compare and contrast a remade movie with its original version.
  39. Write instructions on the best way to pack a backpack or suitcase.
  40. Write about a custom that your region has that other areas of the world do not.
  41. Compare and contrast the way people in your area say a certain phrase to the way it is said in other areas- for example, people in different areas in the U.S. call soda different names; what the U.S. calls fries the U.K. calls chips.
  42. Write instructions for a basic safety procedure.
  43. Compare and contrast the governments of two countries that are on the same continent.
  44. Explain how to write an expository essay.
  45. Compare and contrast an expository and a persuasive essay.
  46. Compare and contrast two sources of information on the same subject; for example, a print encyclopedia entry and a Wikipedia entry, or a newspaper article and journal article.
  47. Write instructions on how to respond to a bully.
  48. Interview someone and write about their job.
  49. Compare and contrast two ancient mythologies (Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Norse, etc.)
  50. Write instructions on how to take care of a plant.
  51. Compare and contrast your typical breakfast with a friend's.
  52. Write about your favorite style of music- history, influential musicians, etc.
  53. Compare and contrast one style of music with another.
  54. Pick a fictional work that has at least one male and at least one female character. Compare and contrast their actions/role in the story.
  55. Write about how your school works or worked.
  56. Explain how to do a very simple cooking task, like boiling an egg or tossing a salad.
  57. Write directions on how to do laundry.
  58. Write instructions on how to replace batteries.
  59. Write about how to keep a car or bike in good condition.
  60. Write about the types of animals that live in your climate.
  61. Write about the types of animals that live in a climate very different from yours.
  62. Write instructions on how to take care of glasses.
  63. Write instructions on how to take care of someone who is sick.
  64. Write about the symptoms of a specific illness.
  65. Compare and contrast a man's shoe and a woman's shoe.
  66. Write about ways to cheer someone up.
  67. Explain how to play a video game.
  68. Write about the history of a food item, like peanut butter or soda.
  69. Compare and contrast tea and coffee.
  70. Write about an allergy or dietary restriction someone you know has.
  71. Write about how to tell when someone is upset.
  72. Write about ways to keep from getting scared.
  73. Write about how to dress for a certain type of weather.
  74. Write instructions on how to take care of a scrape or cut.
  75. Write about ways to tell someone you care about them.
  76. If you know two languages, compare and contrast them.
  77. Look in the mirror and describe yourself as though you were describing a stranger.
  78. Write about a 'behind the scenes' job- stagehand, cameraman, animator, etc.
  79. Write about how to plan an outfit.
  80. Compare and contrast a food with a substitute for someone who is allergic- for example, milk and soy milk.
  81. Write instructions on how to find and identify a constellation.
  82. Write instructions on how to play a musical instrument.
  83. Compare and contrast two types of cars.
  84. Write about how to introduce yourself to someone.
  85. Write about ways to stay warm when it's cold or cold when it's warm.
  86. Write instructions on how to find information for a report.
  87. Write about ways to remember something.
  88. Compare and contrast two different parks or playgrounds.
  89. Compare and contrast two different types of rock.
  90. Write instructions on how to solve a math problem.
  91. Compare and contrast a baby and an adult of the same species.
  92. Write instructions on how to break a bad habit.
  93. Write a guide to good manners.
  94. Write instructions on what to do if you get lost.
  95. Write directions from one place in your town to another.
  96. Compare and contrast two different types of fish or bird.
  97. Write about what you should put in a first aid kit.
  98. Write about what you should bring with you when you go camping.
  99. Write instructions on how to fish.
  100. Write about how to look for a job.

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