Engage your second graders in non-fiction writing by releasing their inner expert! Kids can write about any topic that they know a lot about and teach their writers about that topic.

Writing tips to sound like an expert:

Here are a few ways to begin your expert writing sentences:

It is important to know …
You may be interested to learn …
You may be shocked to hear …
Something cool to know about … is …
Have you ever stopped to think about …
Did you know that …

Here are a few ways to add more detail to your expert writing:

For example, … because …
One reason is …
Another fact is …
It is also true that …
In addition …
As a result …
As well as …
First …
Next …
Last …
Finally …
Also …
Most …
Some …
A few …

Sample letter to parents to kick off the Second Grade Expert Project:

Dear Second Grade Expert Project Writers and Families,

We are currently in a non-fiction unit of study in writing. Children are writing information books about expert subjects. Please ask your child the name of their topic and chat with them about why they picked their topic:

  • Why did they choose that topic?
  • What interests them about the topic?
  • Are they excited to become an expert and teach others about their topic?

One way that writers can learn more about their subjects is to study different items about the topic. These items can be objects, photographs, books and anything else relevant that you can think of! Children can observe and describe their items, ask questions about their items and come up with hypotheses. We are asking each child to bring in a bag with at least three items that related to his or her topic.

For example:

If a child’s topic is “bees”, he or she could bring in a drawing of a bee with labelled body parts, a jar of honey and a picture of a bee hive.

if a child’s topic is “dogs”, he or she could bring in a leash, a dog treat and a picture of their dog.

if a child’s topic is “construction”, he or she could bring in toy hammers and other tools, a picture of their house and a toy bulldozer and other construction vehicles.

Please also help your child find pictures on the Internet or in magazines that they can cut and paste into their books.

It will also be helpful to search for kid-friendly articles on the internet. Please go over these articles with your child so they can get details and fun facts about their expert topic to include in their writing. Please send these articles in along with their items and pictures.

Please don’t send in anything valuable or irreplaceable. All items should fit into a gallon ziploc bag or small shopping bag. Please bring in items by _________________________. We will begin studying and writing about our expert topics that day. Thank you for all of your help!

Sincerely,