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Types of Writing

It just dawned on me today that I have been teaching using a formula too much.

When students struggle with writing, it is sooo helpful to go back to the basics. Focus on the skills they need, and build up from there.

But you know what…. sometimes that’s just boring!

It’s hard when you want to prepare your student for “real” writing and essay / paragraph / expository writing is what they’re going to need for academics. But that’s not the end all be all for writing.

I am anti- just-write-whatever-with-no-instruction, because I believe children do learn best when they’re taught explicitly. But there is also a lot that can be learned just with having fun and and just WRITING!

So today for my lesson, I let my student write … whatever he wanted. We have our topic already, and he needed to read up on the subject. But I gave him liberty to write however he wanted.

List? Letter? Story? Poem? Essay?

And you know what … he’s still writing! It’s still good for him, and it will also be an opportunity for him to see if he can transfer those other writing skills we’ve been working on.

So heres’s a list of writing styles that you can pull out for some variety.


  • How-to writing
  • Fact book
  • All about …
  • speech
  • infographic
  • ABC book
  • Writing about reading
  • Informational essay
  • Research report
  • Formal letter
  • Thank you letter
  • Short answer

Narrative Writing

  • Letter writing
  • Personal narrative
  • historical fiction
  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Memoir
  • Diary Entry

Argument Writing

  • Opinion letter
  • Book Review
  • Poster / Advertisement
  • Speech
  • Compare and Contrast Essay


  • Acrostic Poetry
  • Diamante
  • Cinquain
  • Haiku
  • Limerick
  • Rhyming poem

And what can you write about? Here are some written language skills your child could practice

  • Compare and Contrast
  • Summarizing
  • Sequencing
  • Explaining
  • Describing
  • Evaluating
  • Opinion/Persuasion
  • Problem-Solution
  • Writing about Reading

So pick and choose! Maybe this week you write a sequencing poem about your history lesson. Then next week you write a compare and contrast letter about what to have for dinner.

It’s ok to have fun with writing!