Creative expository introductions mentor text lesson *free resource!
Expository introductions. Gone are the days when “I’m going to tell you all about sharks” was an
acceptable introduction. I mean really, was it ever acceptable? And yet, here were are, in the 21st century, teaching kids not to do it.
One of my favorite mentor authors is Nicola Davies. She writes about the most interesting topics in such an engaging way: sharks, sea turtles, bats, and even poop. (Yep, poop.)
She asks a few questions to get the reader’s brain ready to think about sharks, and then she introduces her topic.
Writers who struggle to write more basic introductions may need more practice with those before they try out this fairly challenging one. Writers who have mastered the basics could try this out as a new challenge!
Here’s a tip for using mentor texts to teach writing strategies:
Every time you read a new book, read it as a reader. When you go back and reread it, put on your “writer’s hat” and read it as a writer. Notice the kinds of things the author did and think about why he/she did it that way.
This will give you opportunities to discuss writing strategies authentically and to help you apply them as you model your own writing.
Step 1: Notice It!
2. When you’re ready to introduce this type of introduction, reread the introduction and say, “I’m noticing that Nicola Davies did something interesting here with her introduction.”
3. Have a discussion with students about the technique she used in the introduction: she asked the reader to imagine something and then asked questions to help them do it.
Step 2: Name It & Explain It!
- Chart the introduction and title it “Imagine This…”
- Identify the parts of the introduction:
- Tells the reader to imagine they’re in the setting your topic is in.
- Ask questions to get the reader’s mind ready to think about the topic.
- Introduce your topic.
Step 3: Teacher Tries It!
5. Write a couple of questions that help your reader envision these details.
Step 4: Kids Try It!
- A step-by-step guide to introducing this strategy to students
- A sample anchor chart
- A handout for students to try writing several introductions of this type, plus a possible answer key
- A handout for students to apply this introduction in their own writing
- Sample introductions written with this strategy for modeling purposes
And it gets even better. You can win a COPY OF THIS BOOK!
Just enter the giveaway below! As you head through the blog hop with the links I share at the bottom of this post, you can enter to win a copy of each book to grow your mentor text collection!
I love your ideas for expository introductions.
I am having trouble locating the Surprising Sharks/Expository Writing Freebie. Thanks!
Hi, I am on this page and this is a great resource. I don't see the link for the free resources.
Love Love Love this idea!!
This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!
My kiddos this year LOVE sharks! What a great lesson! Thanks so much for sharing.
Thanks for the inspiration and free resources!! 🙂