Expository writing is meant for informing, explaining, and describing something. It is narrowed first after a child learns to write paragraphs. Different genres of expository writing include reports on different events/figures, basic book reports, and non-fictional writing. Since there are numerous roles of writing in everyday life, it becomes a critical literacy skill. Students need to have this ability to meet the curriculum requirements and take part in social and civic activities. Read on to learn more about expository writing skills.
Strategies To Teach Expository Writing
There is not just a single strategy for teaching expository writing, but it is crucial to ensure that a child is developed enough and ready before writing an expository essay. Here are different strategies of teaching expository writing:
Narration is the beginning of this form of writing, so practicing narration at home school implies that children are already practicing this form of writing in its earliest form. Students start recitation at their early ages and then move to sentence narration, followed by an essay. So it is recommended to encourage them to retell all that they have learned at school as this can be a significant step in writing coherent essays that are perfectly organized.
ii. Providing students with mentor texts:
Mentor texts help students to comprehend the genre. Some examples of non-fiction texts provided are how-to books for cooking, making a collage, DIY arts, playing sports, or others; informational text explaining environmental issues, habitat of animals, recycling methods, historical events, and others. Picture books can be a perfect way to amaze the students with a wide range of topics for expository writing. For letting students preview the expository text elements, a simple anchor chart can be created. Then they can be asked to add its miniature version to their resource book.
iii. Letting students experiment with different topics:
Students should be given enough time so they can experiment with various topics. They can generate different ideas regarding what they like to write, like gaming systems, comparing gadgets, making classifications, etc. Such encouragement for involvement in various pre-writing activities to let them choose their topic can be initiated by asking them to list their choices and curiosities. Gradually from the wide range of topics, it can be narrowed down. Another such idea is making a grid with alphabets and letting them brainstorm ideas related to each letter.
After coming up with an idea on the topic they want to write, students can be asked for free writing. This involves brain dumping when they need to jot down all the points in their mind in 5-10 minutes, no matter if they are not in the right sequence. Freewriting is best as it doesn't involve any rules, and students can freely include any stories, questions, and examples for illustrating their ideas. This is similar to a draft will they understand the form that the essay would take. From this, the actual draft needs to be prepared. Next comes thesis formulation, narrowing down the topic to make it manageable.
v. Ensuring that students are clear about the topic they are going to write:
For this, students can be made to compile the thesis statement at every page top or index card. Since it is their final destination, this has to be their focus. They need to look for steps during the expository writing, create a flowchart for the order or writing, and an outline for staying organized and identifying any missing information, if any. Finally, the draft needs to be edited and proofread.
vi. Helping students identify the main ideas while summarising:
A summary is not the same as expository writing but summarising is a precursor to expository writing. The summary should have all important and supporting details, with no insignificant details. In some cases, students may not be able to identify the main idea of a passage which is the reason why he fails to communicate the same in writing. Helping them to find the main ideas before starting with expository essay writing can be helpful in such cases.
vii. Self-regulation strategies:
This is essential for students with language impairment to self-monitor their performance during writing. It helps them learn to set appropriate writing goals, learn the use of strategies, and monitor their progress on a chart by recording various elements of compare-contrast to self reinforce their performance. Enough time should be allowed for students to practice and internalize the strategy.
viii. Helping students overcome the language support:
Language support during writing instruction can be a challenging factor for students when they try to generate key ideas. Also, using impactful vocabulary can be difficult. So incorporating vocabulary support can be extremely useful. This can be done in various ways, such as presenting complicated words to students in different contexts and encouraging them to use this, using picture cues and visual organizers to help them understand the word meanings.
Students need to be assigned multiple writing assignments in the form of essays on recent events, history reports, book reports, and others to polish their writing skills. For students with language impairment, teachers must provide special attention to support them. Based on students' performance in the classroom, the strategies can be modified to ensure that they keep improving.