This was our first "official" expository writing lesson and took about 3 days during our daily writing workshop time to complete. I began the lesson by printing up and showing my students these step-by-step directions for how to make a paper pumpkin.
I printed these up from Linda's awesome blog!! Check out her blog below!
I asked the students what they noticed about these directions. They observed that there were no written words to direct the person on how to make the craft. I explained that the students were to write step by step detailed directions for how to make the pumpkins!
The students gathered the materials (scrapbook paper, scissors, and glue) and assembled their paper pumpkin, using the numbered directions from Linda's blog for guidance.
Here are a few examples of the finished project!
The students made notes about each of the steps that they took throughout the process, as part of their prewriting.
And, taken directly from my students writing, I will type their step by step directions...
"First, you cut the strips of scrap paper inot 6 and a half inches and you cut out 10 strips, or rectangles."
"Then, you glue the bottom pieces altogether, but you have to spread them out in a circle."
Another student wrote, "Second, spread your rectangles out on your desk like a snowflake. Make sure they are not touching each other. Then, you glue together the tops of the strips. Hold them down so it sticks."
"Third, use a quarter to trace a circle from the scrapbook paper. This circle will be how you will glue and hold the paper pieces together."
"Next, pull the strips up one at a time at the top. Don't forget to glue them together. Just a dab will do!" (I kid you not, a student wrote that! Can you tell I use that phrase a lot???!!!!)
"After you are done gluing, you make a stem that is about 5 and a half inches. Finally, you are done with your pumpkin. You can also make a nametag for it! Whala! You have a paper pumpkin!"
(We are still working on good "grabbers" and "wrappers!")
First draft and final draft:
In my class, students use different colored pens to demonstrate each stage of the writing process. Prewriting and drafting is written with a blue pen, editing is completed with a red pen, and revising is completed with a green pen. Final drafts are written in pencil.
We then concluded the lesson by going back to Linda's example with the pictures. I told the students that the author DID write written directions after all! (So sneaky, I know!!) I read the directions that Linda had on her blog to show them how similar her directions were with their directions!
Gather some scrapbook paper and get your students excited about expository writing!!