3 30-minute Sessions
Students need to develop skills in writing and revision in order to become
good communicators, both in their schoolwork and in their lives. Expository
writing is used to effectively communicate information and explanations of certain
5) Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and
use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with
different audiences for a variety of purposes.
8.) Compose descriptive texts using an introductory paragraph, sensory
details, vivid language, and a conclusion.
Demonstrating usage of graphic organizers during prewriting
Students will be able to write an expository essay correctly
explaining the steps needed to be taken in order to complete a
Students will learn a helpful strategy for organizing their thoughts
and ideas about their topic.
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer
Pen or Pencil
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst
Engagement: Ask students “What is the purpose of Expository
Writing”. Record student’s responses on the ELMO. Explain to students that
Expository Writing is factual writing that students use to learn and share
information. Some forms of expository writing can be instructions to bake a cake,
a diary entry retelling factual events, a comparison of two events. Ask students to
tell some examples of expository writing they have read. After hearing student’s
examples, explain to students that we are going to begin a three day lesson on
expository writing and strategies.
Explore: Put a Venn Diagram on the ELMO and write High School
over on circle and College over the other circle. Explain and model for students
the correct way to compare and contrast the differences in high school and
college. After you have modeled the proper way to use a Venn diagram hand
each student his or her own Venn diagram. Instruct students to compare and
contrast the similarities and the differences in third grade to fourth grade. Allow
students 10-15 minutes to complete this activity.
Explain: Once students have completed their Venn diagram,
instruct them to turn to their neighbor and discuss their findings for about a
minute. Once students have discussed the topic with their partner, ask a few
students to share their Venn diagram. Ask student to look at their Venn diagram
and think about how they could use the Venn diagram to organize their writings.
Discuss why it is important for students to use organizational strategies when
writing. Explain to students that each similarity or difference written down should
go into the essay they will be writing tomorrow comparing and contrasting the two
Wrap-Up: Ask students what organizational strategies they have
learned today. Instruct them to put the graphic organizers in their binders and
save them for tomorrow. Remind students that they will be using these ideas
tomorrow when writing the actual essay. Instruct students to continue thinking of
more similarities and differences that they could add to their list.
Engagement: Display my example of a Venn diagram comparing
high school to college on the ELMO. Ask students what is the purpose of using a
Venn diagram when writing. Lead students to realize that using a Venn diagram
is a wonderful way to organize your thoughts. Instruct students to get out their
Venn diagram from yesterdays lesson. Ask students if they thought of any other
similarities or differences they could add to their Venn diagram. Allow students a
minute or so to write these ideas down. Explain to students that we are going to
use these Venn Diagrams to complete our Expository Essay today. Inform
students that this should be a quite time in order to allow all students to focus.
Explore: Display a copy of the Expository Essay I wrote on the
ELMO. Ask a student to read the essay aloud. Ask students what they notice
about this essay. Is the essay organized and in order? Do I state similarities and
differences in the two topics? After discussion instruct students to begin writing
their Expository Essay comparing and contrasting third and fourth grades.
Students should have 20 minutes to write the essay.
Explain: Have students discontinue writing. Ask students if they
used the elements that make up and expository essay, they should make sure
their writing is factual and evidence is presented to back them up. Ask if they
compared the differences between third and fourth grade in their essay. Make
sure students brought up specific examples of how the two grades are alike. Ask
students if they noted the differences in the two grades in their essay, make sure
they used specific examples.
Wrap-Up: Ask students to review what we went over in the past two
lessons on Expository Writing. What elements make up an Expository Essay? Do
their personal writings have these elements in them? Instruct students to think
about the words they used throughout the essay to describe each grade. Remind
students to look at the “dead word” wall list and make sure they do not have any
of these words in their essay. If students see that they do have these words,
have them think of words they could use in place of the dead words. Tell
students they will be learning a writing strategy tomorrow to help use more
descriptive words within their essay.
Elaboration: Students can implement Expository Writing skills in
other subjects such as Alabama History or Science. Students have been
comparing and contrasting Vertebrates and Non-Vertebrates in science.
Practicing these skills during writing will help each student perform more
successfully in other areas of school.
Engagement: Ask students to explain what an adjective is and what
is their purpose. Lead students to realize that adjectives are descriptive words
that give more meaning to your story. Go over the list of “dead words” on the
wall. Ask students why we shouldn’t use these words. Inform students that it is
important to use words that have strong meaning. Read the story “Alexander and
the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Instruct students to raise their
hands when they hear an adjective that demonstrates strong meaning.
Explore: After the read-aloud, instruct students to take out their
Expository writing from yesterday. Display the teacher example on the ELMO. Go
through and circle each adjective in the writing. Ask students to help come up
with words that would be better suited in the writing. After we have gone through
the entire essay, tell students they are to do the same with their expository
writing. Have them circle each adjective in the paper and replace the adjective
with one they feel one would be better suited in the sentence.
Explain: Ask students to discuss with their neighbor the words they
replaced. Tell them provide each other with feedback. If your neighbor thinks of a
word they feel would be more appropriate, tell one another.
Wrap-Up: After students have discussed with one another, ask
students why using appropriate descriptive words is so important. Instruct the
students to use each of the strategies we have practiced over the last few days in
their future writing. Question students about the importance of using graphic
organizers and the revision strategy we went over today.
Elaborate: Students can type the final drafts during computer lab
the following week. Instruct students to continue to think of words they could use
in the final draft.
Student’s work will be taken up and looked over for accuracy. The
graphic organizer will be checked to see if the student properly organized the
information and successfully transferred it into the story. The draft will also be
checked for students being able to successfully implement the revision strategy
into their work.
Students who have learning disabilities will be given more guidance
about the lesson and expectations after the whole-class discussion. A para-
educator is also in the room during this time and will have the three struggling
students with her at a table in the back. Here she will help guide them and
ensure they are on the right track.