Just like in years past, I begin our expository unit with explaining the difference between narrative and expository with my “Grandma” page. You can read more about that here.
After we grasp what an expository piece should be, I ask students to write a 12-minute essay (Gretchen does it in 11 minutes) based on a picture and a truism. We use the same truism each year to begin because it deals with pets…and most students have SOME sort of experience with pets.
Truism: Pets can be a big part of a family.
I give students about a minute to think about that statement. Then we begin: 2 minutes to describe what that statement means to us, 3 minutes to tell how it is true in a tv show or movie they have watched, 3 minutes to tell how it is true in a book they have read, 3 minutes to tell how it is true in their own lives or someone they know, and then 1 minute to tell what it makes them think or wonder.
And just like that…in 12 minutes…they wrote their very first expository essay. I explain that due to the things they wrote, they have explained something…they didn’t tell a story.
Students are always so proud after finishing. They count their words and the room begins to buzz with excitement. It’s pretty awesome.
If you want to try this with your kids, you can find the truisms here. You can use any of them that you like. I use several throughout the year. The one about pets isn’t too far down.
Curious what they wrote? Click here to read a sampling from my kiddos.
I couldn’t be more proud.
If you have time…leave them a little note to let them know what you think. Yeah…they read this.