Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I bring you a darling (and fun!) first person essay project for fourth and fifth grade students! Writing first person essays can be challenging for students. They often want to go in and out of that first person (okay, not often…like almost always! Lol). But in this project, we narrow their focus down so much, give an amazing first person sample essay, and give them all the tools that they need to complete this project well.

I mentioned in the last episode (HIT 13: 3 or 5 Paragraph Fun Essay Writing) that I love teaching essay writing because it isn’t as overwhelming to find all the information like in research-based writing, and it actually requires fewer nuanced skills than story writing does. This essay definitely falls in that category.

I explain in this HIT episode how I use sample essays to teach from—especially how I use the sample to teach first person writing. These samples are some of my best teaching tools!

What do your fourth and fifth graders (or youngers or olders) need in order to write a first person essay well?

+A strong sample

+An understanding of pro-nouns (Pro-nouns are FOR nouns—they take the place of nouns)

+A list of first person pronouns to use in their paper

+Interest and excitement in their character

+A great teacher who cares about her students (You’ve got that one covered, I am sure!)

In this episode I delve a little bit into the Checklist Challenge (CC), but for a full CC lesson, check out HIT #9 or my free How to Use the CC book where I teach it to students!

As mentioned above,  just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable FULL sample essay. (Who doesn’t love to hear Tinkerbell’s point of view?!)

And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a Youtube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)!


Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks! 

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast