I was inspired by a Kate Kinsella workshop that I attended and created this scaffolded essay template. I have used this template to assist students as they write expository essays. This template is entirely full of sentence frames, and both gifted, ELL, and SPED students enjoyed this activity. What's great about this template is the fact that you can edit it as needed.
I highly recommend providing students with a writing checklist as they complete this assignment so that they can incorporate writing elements that you have taught.