Rev Up Your Writing Instruction

Expository Edition

The Writing Slump

This is the time of the year where I always felt in a slump. February was that in between month after MOY testing and before the glee of spring break. So how can you inject energy back into your writing workshop time? EXPOSITORY writing is the answer!

If you think about it, most of what we write and read on a daily basis is expository. We make lists, write lesson plans, blog posts, etc. We read blogs, articles, letters, charts, menus, etc. We inform and teach others all the time. What better way to engage writers than to do something that they can engage with and share their expertise.

One activity that I've done with teachers is to have them use an Alphabox organizer to collectively brainstorm all the different kinds of expository texts. We came up with 88 different kinds!!!! Think about it, narrative is narrative. There are not a lot of variations, but expository can be diverse.

The key to great expository writing are the mentor texts. What is in your stack that you want kids to explore and emulate? If you want your students to make Top Lists, grab some National Geographic Kids magagzines to show great examples. Writing All About books? Grab some great examples of engaging nonfiction. Young writers will notice what attributes and features they can try in their writing.

Have fun, explore and GO FOR IT!

Playing with Text Features

Last week in kindergarten writing workshop, we observed how many authors use labeled diagrams to show the parts or features of something. These young writers had just begun their All About books after brainstorming their areas of expertise. (I love the ideas of kinder writers!) After our mini lesson where I modeled in my own writing, they were encouraged to create a labeled diagram for their books. I LOVE what they came up with!
Strategies for Teaching Nonfiction Writing: The R.A.N. Strategy