Working with a crazy deadline here!  We put out the "Show Me Your Story" Narrative Print Guide in April, and before June, we're trying to assemble all our Expository materials into a new-but-similar guide for our 6th-8th grade teachers.  We have money set aside to print an expository guide for every Northern Nevada 6th-8th grade teacher, but that money goes away on July 1st...Deadlines can be stressful.  Especially when I have so many other things I'm working on.

It's no secret that one of my favorite authors for teachers in the amazing Gretchen Bernabei.  Her collection of essays called "Sparklers" really shaped my thinking as I coordinated both the narrative guide and this new expository guide.  Gretchen's book contains student samples from all over the country that scored well on state writing tests, and they're presented in a way that they require students to critically think as they examine the strengths of these student essays.

In Northern Nevada, we have designated narrative and expository practice prompts that we hope our teachers--indeed--practice with, and many of them do.  Gretchen's book inspired me to create a set of Nevada Sparklers for all our designated practice prompts.  It's turned out to be a little bit of a chore, but we are almost 100% there.  The last two sets are for the expository guide's 6th grade practice prompts.

Hooray! I finished the first set this afternoon.  6 charming essays by six charming Nevada kids who practiced with this prompt:  It may be fun to be someone else for a while.  If you could change places with someone, who would you choose?  Explain your choice.

I hope you enjoy these six "sparkling" samples.  And I hope you'll notice the "Interactive Challenge" below each sample, which are designed to get other writers to apply critical thinking skills to their own expository drafts.

Click here to open/print this 6-page document

Most of all, thanks Gretchen Bernabei.  When I grow up, I want to be you!



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