Expository Exemplars

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SWBAT read and analyze Exemplar Expository Essays and begin brainstorming for their own.

Big Idea

By looking at successful and unsuccessful essays, students will be able to align their understanding of what an Expository Essay is supposed to look like.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

For the Guiding Question, I anticipate a lot of answers that talk about the "hook" of an essay, because we just had that lesson. It's important that students form their own answers of what makes an essay successful, so they can live up to it.


40 minutes

The first part of the lesson has us looking at Exemplars. I've taught this lesson several ways, and honestly, it kind of depends on what the kids are ready for. 

  • I put the Exemplars under the document camera and just have students notice what makes them successful, and unsuccessful. They may keep a Noticings/Wonderings chart as we do this. Lastly, I'll ask them what they can "steal" from these Exemplars. Like, "I really liked how the first one used a question as a hook! I'm going to try that."
  • I jigsaw the Exemplars, creating Expert groups. Then we all come back together as a class and talk about what was successful, or unsuccessful for each one, and what they all had in common.
  • I give students the Exemplars and the Rubric and they get to be the teacher.
  • I give the Exemplars to the students on Subtext and allow them to interact with the text, and with each other. They decided as a class what they like and don't like about each one. Here's how Subtext works:


Change Chart

10 minutes

The last part of the lesson has students filling out the Change Chart. Since they've seen how other students have written about the changes and the impacts of the changes, they should be invigorated with new ideas. This serves as their exit slip for the day.