Skip to content

Expository Essay Topics For 5th Grade

A well written expository essay focuses on facts. These expository writing prompts will give you a topic or subject to explain, describe, inform, or define. They are free to use under a Creative Commons License.

Want more ideas? Click the "categories" tab at the top of the screen, or visit the homepage.

  1. Write a description of your hometown for someone who has never been there. Include history, important landmarks, etc.
  2. Write about the history and landmarks of a city you want to visit.
  3. Write a short biography of your favorite celebrity.
  4. Write instructions on how to care for a pet.
  5. Write about the history of your favorite toy or game.
  6. Write about the rules of your favorite sport or game.
  7. Write instructions on how to prepare a meal you enjoy.
  8. Write about the traditions surrounding your favorite holiday and where they came from.
  9. Write an objective summary of a television show or movie you dislike.
  10. Compare and contrast one job or class with another job or class.
  11. Describe the view from your window as factually as possible.
  12. Write out instructions for how to ride a bicycle.
  13. Compare and contrast your house with a friend's house.
  14. Make something simple out of building toys or craft supplies, then write instructions on how to make it.
  15. Write a detailed description of the first object on your left.
  16. Write a short biography of a family member.
  17. Write instructions on how to use a phone, camera, or another device you use frequently.
  18. Write about your family history.
  19. Write detailed instructions on how to use an everyday object like scissors or a spoon as though you were explaining it to someone who had never seen the object before.
  20. Compare and contrast your city with another city you have visited.
  21. Write about the type of tree you see most in your area.
  22. Pick a month. Write about the type of weather your hometown generally has in that month.
  23. Compare and contrast two different places you would like to visit.
  24. Write about your birthstone.
  25. Write instructions on how to get dressed.
  26. Write about a historical figure that shares your birthday.
  27. Compare and contrast two different breeds of the same animal, like cats, dogs, or horses.
  28. Compare and contrast your clothes with someone else's.
  29. Write a summary of your favorite book.
  30. Write a detailed description of your work area.
  31. Compare and contrast two different types of hats.
  32. Compare and contrast the book version of a work with the movie version.
  33. Write about an older version of a current type of technology. For example: old telephones, letters or telegrams rather than e-mail, a slide rule or abacus rather than a calculator.
  34. Compare and contrast two types of fruit.
  35. Compare and contrast two objects that are the same color.
  36. Write instructions on how to clean your room.
  37. Compare and contrast the first book in a series with the last.
  38. Compare and contrast a remade movie with its original version.
  39. Write instructions on the best way to pack a backpack or suitcase.
  40. Write about a custom that your region has that other areas of the world do not.
  41. Compare and contrast the way people in your area say a certain phrase to the way it is said in other areas- for example, people in different areas in the U.S. call soda different names; what the U.S. calls fries the U.K. calls chips.
  42. Write instructions for a basic safety procedure.
  43. Compare and contrast the governments of two countries that are on the same continent.
  44. Explain how to write an expository essay.
  45. Compare and contrast an expository and a persuasive essay.
  46. Compare and contrast two sources of information on the same subject; for example, a print encyclopedia entry and a Wikipedia entry, or a newspaper article and journal article.
  47. Write instructions on how to respond to a bully.
  48. Interview someone and write about their job.
  49. Compare and contrast two ancient mythologies (Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Norse, etc.)
  50. Write instructions on how to take care of a plant.
  51. Compare and contrast your typical breakfast with a friend's.
  52. Write about your favorite style of music- history, influential musicians, etc.
  53. Compare and contrast one style of music with another.
  54. Pick a fictional work that has at least one male and at least one female character. Compare and contrast their actions/role in the story.
  55. Write about how your school works or worked.
  56. Explain how to do a very simple cooking task, like boiling an egg or tossing a salad.
  57. Write directions on how to do laundry.
  58. Write instructions on how to replace batteries.
  59. Write about how to keep a car or bike in good condition.
  60. Write about the types of animals that live in your climate.
  61. Write about the types of animals that live in a climate very different from yours.
  62. Write instructions on how to take care of glasses.
  63. Write instructions on how to take care of someone who is sick.
  64. Write about the symptoms of a specific illness.
  65. Compare and contrast a man's shoe and a woman's shoe.
  66. Write about ways to cheer someone up.
  67. Explain how to play a video game.
  68. Write about the history of a food item, like peanut butter or soda.
  69. Compare and contrast tea and coffee.
  70. Write about an allergy or dietary restriction someone you know has.
  71. Write about how to tell when someone is upset.
  72. Write about ways to keep from getting scared.
  73. Write about how to dress for a certain type of weather.
  74. Write instructions on how to take care of a scrape or cut.
  75. Write about ways to tell someone you care about them.
  76. If you know two languages, compare and contrast them.
  77. Look in the mirror and describe yourself as though you were describing a stranger.
  78. Write about a 'behind the scenes' job- stagehand, cameraman, animator, etc.
  79. Write about how to plan an outfit.
  80. Compare and contrast a food with a substitute for someone who is allergic- for example, milk and soy milk.
  81. Write instructions on how to find and identify a constellation.
  82. Write instructions on how to play a musical instrument.
  83. Compare and contrast two types of cars.
  84. Write about how to introduce yourself to someone.
  85. Write about ways to stay warm when it's cold or cold when it's warm.
  86. Write instructions on how to find information for a report.
  87. Write about ways to remember something.
  88. Compare and contrast two different parks or playgrounds.
  89. Compare and contrast two different types of rock.
  90. Write instructions on how to solve a math problem.
  91. Compare and contrast a baby and an adult of the same species.
  92. Write instructions on how to break a bad habit.
  93. Write a guide to good manners.
  94. Write instructions on what to do if you get lost.
  95. Write directions from one place in your town to another.
  96. Compare and contrast two different types of fish or bird.
  97. Write about what you should put in a first aid kit.
  98. Write about what you should bring with you when you go camping.
  99. Write instructions on how to fish.
  100. Write about how to look for a job.

1. Creative Writing Prompts for Kids 5th Grade  
These 5th grade writing prompts offer your students creative and unique writing ideas that will spark the imagination of even the most reluctant writer!

 See Prompts

2.  Expository Prompts on Animals

Nothing can hold a child's (or adult's) fascination or attention quite like animals. All students love animals, so use that to get their writing gears in motion…
   See Prompts

3.  Writing Prompts on Books

Use the power of books as a starting point for your students' essays with these 5th grade writing prompts on books..
   See Prompts

4. Expository Prompts on Endangered Species

There are thousands of species on the endangered species list and thousands more have become extinct. Stimulate your student's imagination using the natural fascination and awe of extinct and endangered animals..

 See Prompts

5. Environmental Writing Prompts

Why not get your 5th graders thinking more about the world around us and challenge them to write essays using these 5th grade writing prompts on the Environment….
   See Prompts

6. Expository Writing Prompts on Family

Your students have plenty of personal experiences to write about when it comes to family. Even those students who don't have an actual sibling can write about their life with an imaginary sibling or with their best friend…
  See Prompts

7. Expository Writing Prompts on Hobbies

These 5th grade writing prompts on hobbies will give young children a chance to share what they do outside of school with their friends…

 See Prompts

 8. Expository Writing Prompts on Holidays

Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year's or many others, the holidays are the perfect time for teachers to encourage their students to explore the cultural diversity of the world we live in…

 See Prompts

9. Fun Story Starters

Sometimes it's best to shake things up a little – so use these Fun Writing Prompts to give your students' minds a little break from the normal…

 See Prompts

10. Expository Writing Prompts on Music

No matter what age group or grade, from lullabies to Disney, from country to pop, from Taylor Swift to One Direction, your students will feel like rock stars with these 5th grade writing prompts….

 See Prompts

11. Expository Writing Prompts on Vacations

Whether it's a 3-month boondoggle in the summer, or a short week long jaunt in spring. students live for vacation. These prompts are designed to engage them into sharing their experiences…

 See Prompts