As teachers, we have many roles: instructors, counselors, air-traffic controllers, role-models, chief cooks, and bottle washers. . . . We shouldn't also have to be deep-pocket donors, buying all of our classroom supplies. That's why we love the word free, especially when it relates to writing resources. And free is best when it means not just "free of charge" but also "free to use, modify, and share." Really and truly free. So, as you set up your writing classroom for the year, make sure to use these free resources from Thoughtful Learning.
You assign students to write an explanatory essay, and immediately five hands go up: "But I don't know what to write about!"
Thankfully, you can find hundreds of writing topics sorted by grade and major mode—narrative, explanatory, persuasive, response to literature, creative, and research. When you go to k12.thoughtfullearning.com, just click on "Writing Topics" in the top menu bar.
Okay, so everybody in class has found a writing topic, but you still get a lot of questions: "What do you mean by explanatory essay?"
In answer, you can show students free online models written by other students and sorted by grade and mode. Each is a strong model of its type at its level, showing students how they can write effectively. You can use these examples to inspire student writers or to demonstrate a specific trait of writing (ideas, organization, voice) or a specific literary device (metaphor, flashback, sensory details).