At my school we take all of our field trips in relation to the science curriculum. This year, I thought that I was going to use the opportunity to teach expository writing through student reflection of the field trip to a cave and small farm near our school, Kentucky Down Under Adventure Park.
The Guiding Question asks students to think about using exposition when they describe the park and the field trip. But, it really goes beyond that--because I want them to identify what parts of exposition they will be using to write about. I tell them, "For example, if you are giving statistics about the percentage of Australian animals in the park, you are giving FACTS."
For the mini-lesson, I actually model how to write this expository brochure based on my experience at the park. You have to be careful with this, because you don't want them to repeat everything you, as the teacher, put on the example--but you still want them to get the main idea.
Here, I talk about the importance of exposition and how much I really stressed the importance of using expository, rather than narration.
For the work time, I gave each student a blank brochure and asked that they write an expository reflection of the field trip. I circulated to make sure that the kids were writing exposition and not narrative. Honestly, this is the only thing I was looking for. I went to each table, and scanned for the "I/me/we" pronouns and when I found them (and I did), I used it as an opportunity to reteach the difference between a narrative and exposition.
Students are reflecting based on one of their sentence stems, however, I really want to know how they are doing with the concept of exposition.
"Using one of your Reflection Stems, please check in with me on expository writing. What questions do you have, what is going well for you with expository writing?" I might say.