Essay Writing: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Valerie Keenan

Valerie has taught elementary school and has her master's degree in education.

A basic essay consists of five paragraphs: the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Learn to write an essay with three simple steps, and discover important concepts such as thesis and brainstorming.

Writing an Essay: 3 Simple Steps

The thought of writing an essay can be just as intimidating as the idea of making a new friend. The same worries come to mind for both missions, mostly centered on where to start. Although it may seem scary at first, making new friends really begins with a good introduction, and writing an essay is very similar!

To make it simple, let's break the essay writing process into three easy steps and work through the process together:

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Write

Choose a Topic

Choosing a topic doesn't have to be very difficult--after all, everyone has interests, and sometimes the topic is assigned to you by a teacher. Let's say that you chose to write about the concept of happiness, and you've decided to title your essay: 'How to Be Happy.'


Once you've chosen your topic, the next step is to brainstorm. Brainstorming is when you come up with ideas for your essay. This is the point at which you develop your thesis, or main idea. The thesis should be one sentence that reveals the main point of your paper. For our essay 'How to Be Happy,' the thesis could be: 'Happiness is the result of doing positive things every day.' Everything you write should then support this main idea.

Creating a mind map is a great brainstorming technique in which you write your main idea in the center of a piece of paper and branch it out into sub-topics from there. Also, because this is your personal thinking space, you can be as creative as you want!

Brainstorming with a mind map
Brainstorming Happiness


Now it's time to start composing your essay! A basic essay is made up of five paragraphs: The introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Each paragraph should be about four sentences long, though this might vary depending on your topic. Let's explore these three basic sections in more detail.

Structure of a basic essay
Basic essay


The first paragraph of an essay is the introduction. A topic should always be introduced in a way that will grab a reader's attention. For instance, you might ask a compelling question or state an interesting fact. Our example paper could begin with the sentence, 'When you think of the happiest you've ever been, what comes to mind?'

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