Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I am excited (again!) to teach you about how I teach a very beginning report (moving from essay to report) for elementary students. In teaching beginning report writing, it is important that we don’t have too many new skills at  once. Elementary report writing can be daunting. Students at this age (and later) often want to “write from their brains.” How can we get them from writing only what they already know about to writing with information they gather on their own?

Here are some tips I share in today’s episode:

  • Make their first reports super short—one or two paragraphs
  • Make the topic something that they might write an essay about (“from their brains”), so that they know a little going into it—and are excited to learn about it.
  • Don’t require too many sources
  • Start out with a method that they can always use over and over again (I teach my color-coded research in this one!)
  • Don’t expect them to gather too much information. I like to limit it at this step to 4-8 total sentences, depending on whether they are Basic or Extension students.
  • Don’t expect complete opening paragraphs and complete closing paragraphs in early report writing. (I teach what to do instead today!)
  • Use samples to show them the types of information they might want to research for.
  • Use samples to teach the Thesis Statement and Thesis Statement Reloaded.
  • Have clear cut outlining lines for them to outline on (including the crucial “Topic of Paragraph” lines.
  • So much more! : )


(You will get this entire one week project this week—so you can use the Teacher’s Notebook over and over again to teach any  beginning report you would like! {I explain more about this in the episode!})

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)! 


Note: This lesson came from Write for a Month, Dumbo, Level II, a month-long downloadable book!


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! 

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How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast