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Explanatory Writing Assignment

Explanatory Writing Assignment

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Published by Mary Howard
This create your own machine project is based on suggestion from The Writing Fix. It is based on mentor text--Homer Price. Students are asked to invent a machine and describe the steps in a process that the machine goes through to accomplish a task. A GREAT writing assignment for voice, organization and word choice. I had students podcast their results...see blog at yoursmarticles.blogspot.com for details.
This create your own machine project is based on suggestion from The Writing Fix. It is based on mentor text--Homer Price. Students are asked to invent a machine and describe the steps in a process that the machine goes through to accomplish a task. A GREAT writing assignment for voice, organization and word choice. I had students podcast their results...see blog at yoursmarticles.blogspot.com for details.

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Published by: Mary Howard on Jun 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ELA 6 WritingName: ______________________Date: ________________Mod # ________
Explanatory Writing – Steps in a Process
Step #1:
Brainstorm ideas of types of machines that you can invent. Give your machine a creative name. Remember, this task is NOT about themachine, but about the process by which that machine makes a particularitem.
Step #2:
Complete a flow chart. Using the flow chart organizer, writedown the sequence of steps that have to occur for your machine to createthe item.
Step #3:
Draw a picture of your machine. Label important parts and give your machine a creative name. Don’t forget to color your picture!!!
Using your flow chart and your illustration for inspiration, draft yourinstructions. Imagine the machine in the process of creation and be sure tovisualize exactly how it would execute each step. Your instructions need toprovide specific details relating to the senses and you need to includetransition words between each step. THESE WILL NOT BE NUMBEREDSTEPS!! This is simply a step-by-step description of how your machine doeswhat it does.
Review your writing. Ask yourself:
Are the steps in a logical sequence?
Have I left out any important steps?
Did I use transition words?
Have I written clear instruction based on the senses?
Try reading your instructions aloud to a partner. The partner should beable to tell you whether or not the instructions are easy to follow.
The Assignment:
In chapter three of Robert McCloskey's Homer Price, we learnabout an amazing donut-making machine. In this assignment, you will imagine amachine. Next, you will create an original piece of writing that describes, step-by-step, how an item is made by that machine. In between each step, you will carefullychoose and use a variet of transition words.
After you have made revisions, please proofread carefully for finalcorrections.Student Examples:Have you ever wanted a robot to do your homework, and get full credit on it? Well, now you can with the “Homework Machine.” First, you put in the subject category of your homework,Next, you put in what grade you want to get on the assignment: A, B, C, D, or F. Then you put inthe sheet of paper and watch the machine do its work! Meanwhile, you enter your name into themachine, so it can put it on the paper. After that, you wait until the paper comes out, which willtake a couple of minutes. Eventually you take out the paper and put it away, to turn in tomorrow.Therefore, you get what score you wanted on the assignment.To begin with, the Hydro Reformer is a mechanical and complex machine made to createH2O. Initially, using the nanofiber web, the Hydro Reformer catches the oxygen and hydrogenatoms like a spider web would do with flies, simultaneously separating them into groups of two indifferent chambers awaiting the fusion process. Later on, when enough hydrogen and oxygenatoms are processed, they are sent to a fusion vault to be compressed together to make H2O,or water. Eventually, after an abundant amount of condensation is collected, it is sent spiralingdown the airtight lock tube into a drip system. Pursuing this farther, the drip system combinesthe molecules of water into to drops and drips down to the bottom of the container, hence thename,
drip system 
. Accordingly, the water is sent through carbon filters, materials, andscanners like the SEM (scanning electron microscope) and TEM (transmitting electronmicroscope) to cleanse it. In essence, the Hydro Reformer can be used to fix the scarcity ofwater in many regions.This is how the Robo-Breakfast-Maker makes breakfast. Initially, the pancake mix is pouredinto a bowl where it is mixed with water. Secondly, the mixture is poured into a pancake mold,where it cooks. Next the pancake falls onto a conveyor belt and onto the plate below.Meanwhile, the thawed bacon falls into a pan where it is cooked by robots. Eventually the baconfalls onto a conveyor belt and onto the plate below. While that is being cooked, an egg falls intoa tube, is injected with a needle, and the yolk and whites are sucked out. Subsequently, they arecooked and fall to a conveyor belt and onto the plate. Finally, you grab the plate. Breakfast isready to eat!
ELA 6 WritingName: ______________________Date: ________________Mod # ________
Explanatory Essay Publishing
Complete the final copy of your piece. Be sure to re-read it one last time before you hand it in. CHECKLIST:Flow Chart TYPED in 12 point BLACK*Rough Draft with Edits and Revisions Double-spacedFinal copy neatly presented 1 or 1 ½ inch marginsWITH illustration□ Grading Rubric (this sheet)How you will be graded:*
Paper can also be neatly written in blue or black ink, skipping lines.
The writer:
The writer
The writer
The writer
Ideas & Content
creates an entertaining,descriptive step by stepset of instructions.shares fresh creativeinsights.
Ideas & Content
craftsa clear, step by step set ofinstructions utilizing vividadjectives and verbs; holdsthe reader’s attention.
Ideas & Content
attemptsto provide step by stepinstructions, but may not beclear; may lose control of thedescriptive details.
Ideas & Content
does noteffectively describe process;writer may go off in severaldirections or did not addressthe task correctly.
unfolds aplanned sequence ofevents; ideas, sentences,and paragraphs areskillfully tied together.
has a wellplanned strategy with abeginning, middle, and end;ideas are evenly tiedtogether; events fit wherethey are placed.
may not craft acomplete set of instructions, ormay have trouble tying ideastogether; reader may beconfused by events.
writing isextremely hard to follow;sequence of events, if any,are disorganized orincomplete.
conveys anoriginal, reflectivemessage; is deeplyinvolved with the topic;expresses a range offeelings.
shares anauthentic personalmessage, and attempts toexplore a range offeelings; style reflects thewriting purpose.
provides a sequence ofevents, but in a predictableway; gets the message across,but does not seem involvedwith the topic.
is not involved insharing an experience with areader; does not focus onanything of personalimportance or interest;writing is flat and lifeless.
Word Choice
usesexceptional language inan imaginative way;powerful words creatememorable images.Excellent transitionwords are used.
Word Choice
carefullyselects specific words thatfit the story and bring themain events to life; usessome new words.Transition words are used.
Word Choice
may not usewords that convey specificfeelings or images; some wordsdetract from the story’simpact. Predictable transitionwords are used.
Word Choice
has a hardtime finding the right words;may make run-on lists ofunrelated words and phrases.Few or no transition wordsare used.
Sentence Fluency
constructs well-craftedsimple and complexsentences that flow in asmooth rhythm; dialogue,if used, sounds naturaland reinforces the story.
Sentence Fluency
craftsfluid sentences; mayeffectively use fragmentsand/or dialogue.
Sentence Fluency
successfully uses simplesentences, but may havetrouble with more complicatedstructures; sentences may berambling; writing is hard toread aloud.
Sentence Fluency
sentences are incomplete,rambling, or confusing; mayhave trouble understandinghow words and sentences fittogether.
You MUST turnALL of these
things in!

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