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How-to Writing

What is how-to writing or explanatory writing? It’s just what it sounds like, you write to teach someone how to do something. Explanatory writing is used to help someone understand a topic. It’s often used for how-to posts, where you’re giving the reader step-by-step instructions on how to do something. You can also use it to help the reader understand something new or complicated by breaking it down into smaller pieces.

For example, you might write an article about how to plant a tree. You would include every step of the process, from finding the right tree to digging a hole and finally watering your newly planted tree.

Brainstorming

How can you choose what to write about? First, you should brainstorm topics that you understand how to do that you could teach others. I’m going to work with a graphic organizer to help me brainstorm topic ideas. What do I know how to do? I know how to make a pizza. I know how to grow a plant. I could train youngsters how to tell time. I can teach how to wrap a present. Which one should I go with? I’ll choose the one that I have knowledge of the most about: growing a plant.

Introduction

We use how-to writing to show others how to do something. First, I brainstormed things that I know how to do well. Then, I chose a subject that I want to teach others. I’m going to explain how to grow a plant. Now I’m ready to start writing! I will begin with an introduction. an introduction is the beginning of your writing. It needs to do three things. First, it needs to hook the audience. Next, you need to introduce the subject. Last, list the materials needed. So let’s get started!

I wish to hook the audience to get them thinking about my writing. I like to do this with a question. I will write “have you ever seen a lovely flower and thought I want to have a flower like that?” Next, I am going to introduce the topic. I am going to tell what I’m teaching “read this to learn everything about how to grow your very own plant!” Last I’ll list the materials wanted. “You will want a pot, dirt, seeds, a small shovel, and a watering can.” Let’s see how my introduction looks. “Have you ever seen a lovely flower and thought, I want to have a flower like that? Read this to learn all about how to grow your very own plant. You will need a pot, dirt, seeds, a little shovel, and a watering can.” Perfect!

Writing Steps

I am writing about how to grow a flower. I’ve already written an introduction where I hook the reader, introduce the subject, and listed the materials needed. At this time I’m ready to write the steps. My steps should tell the audience what to do in order. It should also consist of graphics that help teach the reader. There need to be transition words like first, next, then, and last. Step 1, “first you need to load your flower pot with soil.” Step 2, “next set a couple of seeds right into the soil.” Step 3, “then sprinkle water right into the pot.” Step 4, “last put the pot in the Sunlight and get ready for your plant to grow.” I informed the steps in order, added graphics, and use transition words.

Revising

I’m writing about how to grow a flower. I’ve created an introduction and my steps, and now I’m will revise. When you revise you reread your writing, you think about your writing, and you make it even better. I’m will go over each step to make sure I gave the audience sufficient information.

Step 1, “first you need to load the pot with soil.” I forgot to say what kind of equipment to work with. I’m going to improve it to say “first you need to use a little shovel to load your flower pot with dirt.” That gives the reader even more information.

Step 2, “next put a couple of seeds into the soil.” I think I want to offer the audience a few additional details about this. I forgot to explain that you need to make holes in the soil and I didn’t tell specifically the number of seeds you need to use. I’ll write, “next, make 3 or four holes in the dirt and drop a seed in each hole.” That’s much better!

Step 3, “then spray water right into the pot.” Hold-up, I didn’t point out to cover the seeds with soil. Let’s adjust it “then, cover the seeds with soil and sprinkle water into the pot with a watering can.” 

Lastly, step 4, “last, put the pot in the Sunlight and get ready for your flower to grow.” I better remind the reader that they will have to keep watering the flower to ensure that it will grow. I’ll add “do not forget to add even more water when the dirt gets dry.” Since I’ve revised my steps to make them even better I’m ready to complete my writing.

Closing

I’m writing to show others how to grow a flower. I’m nearly finished, I just need to write a closing. A closing or conclusion is the last part of your writing. We make use of a closing to wrap it up. We really want the audience to experience a sense of closure. In some cases, you may ask a question or reveal a hope in your closing. Before I create my conclusion I’m going to reread my writing beginning with the introduction.

“Have you ever seen a lovely flower and thought, I want to have a flower like that? Read this to learn all about how to grow your very own plant. You will need a pot, dirt, seeds, a little shovel, and a watering can. First, you need to use a little shovel to load your flower pot with dirt. Next, make 3 or 4 holes in the dirt and drop a seed in each hole. Then, cover the seeds with soil and sprinkle water into the pot with a watering can. Last, put the pot in the Sunlight and get ready for your flower to grow. Do not forget to add even more water when the dirt gets dry.”

Now for my closing. “Are you all set to grow a flower? I hope this writing assisted you in learning how to grow your own flowers.” I began with a question and ended with something I hope.

Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.A Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.B Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.C Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.D Provide a concluding statement or section.

how-to writing, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, kindergarten, procedural writing, brainstorming, elementary, writer’s workshop, first grade, second grade, third grade, primary, students, topic

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