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Teacher Tips and Answers

Warm-Up for Process Essays

A process essay leads readers through a series of steps for getting something done. This lesson will help you think about different processes and which ones you might explain in an essay.

What Is a Process?

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Writing a Process Essay
(c) Thoughtful Learning 2016

A process is a series of steps for getting something done. For a bird, building a nest is a process. For a bee or a squirrel, gathering food is a process. And for a student, writing a process essay is, itself, a process.

What processes do you know how to do? What processes could you explain to others?

When you write a process essay, you explain how to do something or how something works. Each paragraph in your essay focuses on a step in the process. The sentences follow time order, leading the reader from start to finish.

Process writing helps you get the job done!

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Thinking About a Process

Most things don’t happen all at once. They take steps to finish. Even something as simple as shooting a free-throw:

  1. Stand at the free-throw line.
  2. Get the ball from the ref.
  3. Focus on the basket.
  4. Line up the shot.
  5. Shoot the ball.
  6. If you make the first shot, repeat the process.

You can organize the steps of a process by making a numbered list like the one above.

Time Line

You can also make a time line to put steps in time order. Start each line with a time-order word, and give the step.

First

Stand at the free-throw line.

Second

Get the ball from the ref.

Then

Focus on the basket.

Next

Line up the shot.

After

Shoot the ball.

Finally

If you make the first shot, repeat the process.

Choose a process you can do.

Write down something you know how to do.

Take care of a hamster

Organize the steps.

Create a numbered list or a time line. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

Numbered List

  1. Go to buy a hamster.

  2. Pick out and set up a cage.

  3. Feed and water your hamster.

  4. Hold your hamster to gain trust.

  5. Make mazes for your hamster.

  6. Show off your hamster to your friends.

Time Line

First

Go to buy a hamster.

Second

Pick out and set up a cage.

Then

Feed and water your hamster.

Next

Hold your hamster to gain trust.

After

Make mazes for your hamster.

Finally

Show off your hamster to your friends.

Teaching Tip

Help students understand that a list and a time line are two different ways to organize the same material. They do not have to generate both. Also, help them realize they don’t have to have six steps in their processes.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Process Essays unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

© 2017 Thoughtful Learning. Copying is permitted.

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