When it comes to writing, fifth grade is a red-letter year. To prepare for the demands of middle school and high school writing, fifth graders should be mastering skills required for strong nonfiction writing. Learn more about your fifth grader’s writing under Common Core. All students should be learning three styles of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Reports that convey information accurately with facts, details, and supporting information.

Narrative writing

Stories, poems, plays, and other types of fiction that convey a plot, character development, and/or personal stories.

Opinion writing

Writing in which students try to convince readers to accept their opinion about something using reasons and examples.

Fifth grade writing sample #1

Bipolar Children

This student’s report starts with a decorative cover and a table of contents. The report has eight sections, each clearly labeled with a bold subhead, and includes a bibliography. At the end, this student adds three visuals, two images from the internet with handwritten captions and a related, hand-drawn cartoon.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fifth grade writing sample #2

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Dylan’s report is thorough and well organized. There’s a cover page, an opening statement, and four clear sections with subheads, including a conclusion. You’ll see from the teacher’s note at the end that the assignment is for an opinion piece, but Dylan clearly writes a strong informational/explanatory piece, which is why it’s included here.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fifth grade writing sample #3

The Harmful Ways of By-Catch and Overfishing

This student includes facts and examples to inform the reader about by-catch and overfishing. Then, at the end, the student tries to convince the reader to take a personal interest in these topics and gives example of how the reader can take action, too.

Type of writing: Opinion writing


See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade.

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