School In The Park - 5th Grade Writing Opportunities

Writing Room Activity Template

Writing Room Sample Activities

Available Book Titles

Units of Inquiry Assessment Rubrics


Fleet ROT#2
Properties of Matter#2


Reflected Student Understandings




  • Materials:  “Bikini Bottom (SpongeBob)” safety article. Prompt: One day you walked into the classroom and saw your teacher disobeying one of the science safety rules. Explain which rule (or rules) your teacher failed to follow and describe what happened as a result. (Extension: Create a safety poster or a comic strip.)
  • Materials: Mind map created during rotation 2. Prompt: Using the words and concepts on your mind map, write a story about the chemical changes you encounter in a typical day. (If you need a hint, think about some of the examples discussed in class - cooking, leaving metal toys in the rain, fireworks, rotting food, etc.)
  • You are an Alka-Seltzer tablet. You are poured into water. Explain what happens to your and what kind of change has taken place.
  • You are (choose an object, e.g., piece of paper, cake batter).  Write a story in which you go through a chemical change.

• establish a situation or plot, point of view, setting, conflict and present an ending
• use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization


Arch Diagram
Central Idea Graph
Cycle Graph
Descriptive Writing
Matrix Diagram
Web Diagram


Research Report

  • Materials: Results of Chemical/Physical Change Challenge from Day 4 of rotation 2. Information on chemical and physical changes (,, books in classroom library.
    Prompt: Using the results of your experiment, write a report to present to the exhibits department at the science center. Explain your prediction and describe the steps you took to set up your experiment. Be sure to explain why you think your experiment was an example of a chemical or physical change (or both). Use research from the books, websites, and other sources to back up your conclusions. Don’t forget to discuss the indicators you observed. 
  • Choose an element to learn about.  Find out as much as you can about this element.  Include: its name, when it was discovered (if known), atomic number, metal or non-metal, is it a salt, freezing/melting temperature, where it is found, what it is used for.  Include a drawing or model of the atom that shows its nucleus (protons and neutrons) and electrons.


• provide details and transitional expressions linking one paragraph to another
• develop the topic with facts, details, examples, and explanations
• offer a concluding paragraph that summarizes important ideas and details
• use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization


Response to Literature
(Narrative or


  • Read the article: “Looking at Atoms”.  You may take notes or write on the copy.  Use the information in this article to explain how a scanning tunneling microscope lets us see atoms.


  • Read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  How was Sadako affected by the discovery of the energy contained in an atom?  What do you think her opinion of using an atomic bomb to shorten World War II might have been?  Support your answer with evidence from the story.

• demonstrate an understanding of the work
• support judgments through references to the text and prior knowledge
• develop interpretations that exhibit careful reading and understanding
• use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization

Expository Composition

(description, explanation, compare/contrast, problem/solution, argument/conclusion, procedural)

  • Materials: Exhibits and labels in the Fleet exhibit galleries. Prompt: Choose an exhibit on a topic that you find interesting. Describe how to use the exhibit and explain what science concepts it teaches. Describe what you liked best about the exhibit as well as what you disliked about it. What improvements or changes you would like to make to the exhibit? (Extension: Use the digital cameras to take pictures of the exhibit to include in your report. Draw a picture of an exhibit you would like to create.)
  • Materials: Jelly Bean Book. Prompt: You have just accepted a job as a scientist for Jelly Belly candies. Your first assignment is to create a new flavor of jelly beans. Describe the flavor you would create and explain why you chose this flavor. Describe the tools your might use in your laboratory and the steps you would follow to test this new flavor. Finally, explain how you would market this new flavor to the public.
  • Prompt: Describe how to pop popcorn, make ice cream, or bake a cake. Be sure to explain whether this is an example of a chemical or physical change.
  • Tell your apprentice how to create asafe chemical change with hydrogen peroxide and yeast.
  • You are a scientist. Your apprentice accidentally dropped a box of Alka-Seltzer into a sink full of water.  Explain what happened.

• state a clear position supported with relevant evidence
• develop the topic with facts, details, examples, and explanations
• follow a clear organizational pattern
• use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization

NOTE: If you want to use resources from the museum, please contact the museum educator