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Third Grade Writing Lesson #2 / Science Prompt

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Grade 3
Writing Standard 10

Additional Core Ties

Science - 3rd Grade
Standard 3

Time Frame

4 class periods of 30 minutes each


Utah LessonPlans
brooke rauzon


Students will invent a gadget using one or more simple machines. They will then write a detailed description of that gadget.


Teacher Materials:

Selected books:

  • So You Want to Be an Inventor, Judith St. George
  • Kids' Invention Book, Arlene Erlbach
  • Kids Can Be Inventors Too
  • Mistakes That Worked, Charlotte Foltz Jones

Student Materials:

  • Graphic organizer
  • Writing paper
  • Pencil

Instructional Procedures

  1. Use a graphic organizer to create your machine. Include what the machine is made of, what materials are needed, how it works, and what it does.
  2. From your graphic organizer, make an illustration of your machine. Name your machine and label the different parts using different scientific terms learned from the study of simple machines.
  3. Using your illustration, write a description of your machine. Describe what it looks like, how it works, and why it helps you. Include the scientific vocabulary in your description (draft).
  4. Looking back at your diagram, revise the draft, making sure everything is included. Explain your machine to a partner. From any questions the partner has, add additional descriptive detail.
  5. Reread your draft and check for correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Writing Prompt: Invent a gadget to help you with a job you have to do. It should use one or more simple machines and do some kind of work. Write a detailed description of how your machine works. Be sure to tell what it looks like and why it helps you. Make it sound so wonderful that other people will want you to make one for them, too.


The Inclined Plane Helper (pdf)


  • The ideas expressed are clear, but the development of the paper is too basic/general.
  • The sequence is logical and clear, but not compelling. The introduction and conclusion are not strongly evident, even though the information holds together.
  • Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are mostly correct.
NOTE: The student's diagram supports the written text and shows understanding of simple machine concepts.


Spick and Span Robo (pdf)


  • Creative ideas capture the reader's attention. The topic development is general and leaves the reader with some questions.
  • The introduction and conclusion are engaging. The writing flows smoothly, but the writer could have provided more elaboration.
  • Spelling, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization are generally correct. But the paragraph is not indented, the period after the first sentence should be a comma, or it should be written as a new sentence with a capital.
NOTE: The student diagram strengthens the "simple machines" aspect of the assignment.


Food 'a' Grinder (pdf)


  • The ideas are reasonably clear, although the reader is left with questions. The writer stays on topic but does not develop detail beyond the obvious.
  • The paper has an inviting introduction, and the sequencing shows some logic.
  • There are some spelling errors, but the meaning is clear. Capitalization and punctuation are correct. The paragraph lacks indentation.

Created: 08/15/2005
Updated: 02/05/2018