Category Archives: Expository Writing

Common Core

Common Core: Cite specific textual evidence

Common Core

The Common Core Social Studies Standard  for History/Social Studies CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 demands that students cite evidence when practicing expository writing. Students need to use that evidence to support their analysis of primary and secondary sources. Specific evidence helps students prove why they believe their analysis of the primary or secondary source is accurate. Without proof, it is an ignorant opinion.

When first beginning to teach students how to cite, a teacher can introduce it as a matching exercise. They can provide students with five to ten short secondary or primary sources. Then they should offer the same amount of statements. Have the students find the primary or secondary sources that could provide the evidence to make each statement true. In order to differentiate instruction for this I would use the Multiple Intelligence Theory. I would allow my intrapersonal learners to conduct the activity the way I suggest above. For my interpersonal and kinesthetic learners, I would create small posters with the individual statements and the primary sources. The students could then search for the match with the other students that are going through the activity in this format. Once they think they have a match, I would have them come up to me and explain orally why they think it’s a match. They should say something in the realm of “We think it matches because…”. That statement will also help them gear up for the next Common Core Standard that I will be writing about in my next article.

Once students understand that they can cite evidence to prove an opinion statement, they need to practice writing their own opinion on the content and then write the reason a primary or secondary source helps to prove it. Teachers can have students practice this by providing a primary or secondary source for students to read and providing a question for them to answer about it. The question must contain a ‘why’ statement. The student should then answer the question and state the reason including a ‘because’ statement connecting their opinion with the factual evidence from the primary or secondary source.

When students are ready to move on, they should start using primary or secondary sources in an essay format, usually called a DBQ essay, there are three possibilities for citing specific evidence from the documents.

1. Students may summarize or quote what was stated in the document.

2. Students may summarize or quote and then write where they found the evidence.

3. Students may summarize or quote a document and then place the document number or title inside parenthesis.

Encourage students to create educated opinions by citing proof during expository writing. It will encourage critical thinking and increase confidence because they will be able to back up their opinions. Instead of just saying “I think it means this…,” they’ll say “It means this because…”. One of our goals as social studies educators is to teach our students the skills they need to be successful in life. This Common Core Social Studies Standard can help us accomplish this goal.

I have created an expository leveled writing system that can help social studies teachers differentiate instruction for their students. You can find it by clicking here: Leveled Expository Writing System

Click on the link below to find out more about how to use the Common Core Standards.

To find out more about the Common Core Social Studies Standards, click here. That page goes through the Common Core Social Studies Standards and simplifies them by giving examples and explanations.


Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can you differentiate instruction for a writing assignment based on Judaism?

Judaism Differentiated Instruction Lesson Plan

Differentiated instruction for writing can be done with leveling. There a a couple of different approaches that a teacher can take when differentiating writing by ability levels otherwise known as tiering. has a fantastic leveled writing system that takes students from a topic sentence to a DBQ essay. All of the levels of writing focus on content too so teachers know if their students are understanding the concepts presented in class.

Another way to differentiate instruction for writing on Judaism and as a conclusion to the Judaism lesson plan is by providing lower ability levels with a writing prompt. For expository writing, this may be as simple as providing a topic sentence. This will help focus them on the details, facts and elaborations one could write about Judaism.

The last way a teacher could differentiate instruction for writing about Judaism is to increase the difficulty of questions. The higher the ability level, the higher critical thinking should be demanded from the students.

When creating a differentiated instruction writing assignment for Judaism, a teacher needs to remember that each student need to use the content that is stated in the state standards or national standards that are being used in the class. Every student must be exposed to the same content during differentiated instruction.

To find out more about my Judaism differentiated instruction lesson plan, click on the links below.

How can you differentiate instruction for a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction to teach vocabulary in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction for a mini-lesson in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction for an activity work session in a Judaism lesson plan?

How can you differentiate instruction with a graphic organizer in a Judaism lesson plan? offers the Judaism lesson plan above. Check it out! Or, if you only want to purchase this single differentiated instruction lesson plan for Judaism, Click here.

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Kasha Mastrodomenico (Connect with me on

How can I differentiate instruction for a writing activity?

Differentiated instruction has to do with the use of the same content but in different ways or levels in order to engage and interest all students in the classroom at the same time.

Whether the purpose of the writing activity is to use the content or to learn the writing process, a leveled writing system can be useful. Each writing level has a milestone that needs to be met before the student can move on to the next step. It is systematic, and from my personal experience effective, for students learning either the content or the writing process itself. A great website to check out for an expository leveled writing system is It has a leveled writing system that begins with writing a topic sentence and ends with a DBQ essay. There are 7 levels in the leveled writing system. It is a very fast way to differentiate instruction by ability. It takes less than 5 minutes to create the writing assignment.

Teachers can also differentiate instruction for writing assignments by providing questions that involve different multiple intelligence learning styles yet are still based on the content. Differentiated instruction by providing questions that interest the students or that they can relate to might help their creative juices flow.

Differentiated instruction is definitely possible for writing activities. Whether you use a leveled writing system, an interactive writing system or provide question options based on the different multiple intelligence learning styles, differentiated instruction has the potential to improve student writing and increase their interest.


Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

Is a cause and effect essay an example of expository writing?

A cause and effect essay is an example of expository writing.

A cause and effect writing activity is an example of expository writing. This expository writing activity can be done in the form of a paragraph or an essay. Planning can easily be done and should be done before a cause and effect expository writing activity is begun. Planning works as a type of guide for the writer and focuses them on the content needed to accomplish the task. Two forms of planning that can be done for a cause and effect expository writing activity is a graphic organizer or an outline.

Some students may have trouble putting expository writing together in a paragraph or an essay form. One accommodation that can be used is an interactive expository writing system. If students have trouble with the process or are in the midst of learning the process of expository writing a leveled expository writing system can also be helpful. Leveled expository writing systems can help teachers differentiate instruction also by allowing students to write at different levels but use the same content. offers a leveled expository writing system. Check it out!

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What multiple intelligence learning styles work together during expository writing?


Expository Writing uses Multiple Intelligence Learning Styles


Expository writing can use many multiple intelligence learning styles. Expository writing must be organized in paragraph form. The content itself must also be organized within the paragraphs. Due to the organization required for expository writing, the logical multiple intelligence learning style is used during the writing process. Obviously the use of language for writing is necessary. Therefore, the linguistic multiple intelligence learning style is used for expository writing. Teachers can give students a choice to work by themselves (intrapersonal multiple intelligence learning style) or with a partner (interpersonal multiple intelligence learning style) to create their expository writing. Another popular choice to bring in the interpersonal multiple intelligence learning style is peer review. offers a leveled expository writing system that takes a student from writing a topic sentence to as advanced as a DBQ essay. Check it out!

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

How can teachers use linguistic intelligence to differentiate instruction for activities?

Differentiate Instruction using Linguistic Learning Activities

Most teachers use linguistic learning style activities but they might not realize that that’s what they are. There are many options of linguistic learning style activities. Anything to do with writing (persuasive writing, creative writing, or expository writing) is a linguistic learning activity. Teachers can differentiate instruction by using leveling or scaffolding with writing assignments by either using a leveled writing system or by providing scaffolded ability level questions.

Providing an option for students to both speak and write would be highly valued by those with the linguistic learning style. An example of this might be to create and perform a monologue, a skit or give a persuasive speech. Teachers can differentiate instruction by providing one of these linguistic learning style activities as one of the options you allow your students to choose from. offers many linguistic learning style activities to help differentiate instruction

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico

Why should you teach students to use an outline for expository writing?

Expository Writing Outline

Outlines are extremely helpful to students to organize their thoughts and ideas for expository writing. Students with a logical learning style will appreciate the use of an outline because it is systematic, which is something that they value. Students with a spatial learning style will also appreciate the use of an expository writing outline because they will be able to see their content in the expository writing in a different way. This can also help students diagnosed with ADHD because the outline will prompt them and refocus their efforts much more quickly. Students with learning disabilities may get overwhelmed by the task of writing an expository essay or a DBQ essay. An expository writing outline can be separated into paragraph sections, making writing a much more reasonable task. includes an expository writing outline in its leveled writing system

Written by,

Kasha Mastrodomenico