Explain Yourself: An Expository Writing Unit for High School

This Explain Yourself: An Expository Writing Unit for High School unit also includes:

Introduce expository writing with a unit that asks writers to craft an essay to explain a belief, value, or priority that is important to them. Mini-lessons within the unit focus on crafting thesis statements and conclusions, selecting supporting evidence, using transitions to connect paragraphs, how to use language and structure to explain ideas.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have the class brainstorm a list of beliefs, values, and priorities and then ask individuals to create their own list of five topics they might use for their essay
  • After reading the sample essay, ask writers to make note of evidence they could use for each of their five topics and then select the topic they feel has the most potential
Classroom Considerations

  • Although designed to prepare ninth and tenth graders for the STAAR End of Course exam, the unit is an appropriate introduction to expository writing for both junior or high school learners
  • Assumes writers are familiar with the writing process
Pros

  • The nine-page packet includes a brief plan, activities, the writing prompt, and an essay rubric
Cons

  • No links are provided to the handprint activity, Diane Ackerman's model text, "Chocolate Equals Love," or Laura McLaurin's "Runner"