Expository Explosion

Moving into Expository, Poetry and Traditional Literature

Expository is FUN!

Kids love expository. They love the fun facts, "wows," and "that's-so-cools" that come with learning about real stuff. Often we as teachers dread the nonfiction units, but it in these units where we sometimes connect with our struggling readers.

I had the opportunity to hear Lynda Hoyt and Seymour Simon talk about the power of the nonfiction read aloud this summer at ILA. Here are some tips for making your nonfiction read alouds a thing of beauty!



  1. You HAVE to make time for nonfiction read alouds. Shorten a fiction one if needed. Also, the beauty of NF is that you can just read sections, chapters, paragraphs, etc.
  2. Approach nonfiction as an exciting story. Use voice inflection, build suspense. Get them intrigued. Look for books that have a WOW factor!
  3. Use photographs and diagrams to bring the text to life. Use your smartboard as a backdrop. Imagine finding a large photo of an underwater scene as you begin to read a book about sharks.
  4. Be picky. Not every nonfiction text is created equal. Picture reading your car's information manual. I don't see any of you pulling that bad boy out for some enjoyable reading on the weekend. That kind of nonfiction is meant to just deliver information. It's okay to look for really cool informational texts.
  5. Look at visuals. Build background knowledge so that kids want to keep reading.
  6. You don't have to start on page 1. Skip around, it's okay.
  7. Sketch, think, visualize and encourage questions while reading.
  8. Look for nonfiction poetry. Kids connect with poetry.



Have fun. Choose some really great texts to share with your students.

Seymour Simon Reads from Fighting Fires
THE RIGHT WORD: Roget and His Thesaurus [Book Trailer]

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