Expository Writing A Unit of Study for 10th Grade
What is expository writing? • Explains • Informs • Makes an idea clear • Facts, details and examples • Non-fiction
Describe Yourself • Use the handout to organize your thoughts about yourself as a reader and writer. • Then, write your description in your notebook in the Classwork section. • Use complete sentences, and be as descriptive as you can.
Tell A Story • Write about a time that you had a positive experience with reading and/or writing. • This can be when you learned to read or write, a book that was read to you, or a book or story you enjoyed reading. • Share your story with a partner.
Before You Read: • What is your purpose for reading? • Preview the text • Look at the title and subheadings • Look at any pictures, graphics and captions • Look in the margins. Is there information there to help you understand the reading? • Look for definitions. Set a goal for your reading
“Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie • What is the story about? • Who is the author? What do we know about him? • How do we know? • What questions do you have about this story?
Summarize • Write a summary of the main points of the story. In “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, the author says that he learned to read by…. He discusses how …. He also points out that… At the end of the text, he concludes with…
Diagram these sentences • Our house was filled with books. • The words inside a paragraph worked together for a common purpose. • His suit is red, blue, and yellow. • I fought with my classmates on a daily basis. • I read the backs of cereal boxes.
Say-Mean-Matter • Find three short quotes (no more than two sentences each) that you think are important, or significant to the main idea of the story. Be sure to write each in quotation marks and include the page number in parentheses.
Say • “My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.” (132)
Mean • Paraphrase, or put the quote into your own words. • Sherman Alexie loved his father very much, and admired everything he did. Since his father loved books, Alexie wanted to love books as well.
Matter • Do NOT restate the paraphrase, or tell what the quote says again. • DO try to express what is important about the quote. • The author was inspired to read and be interested in books because his father loved books. His father demonstrated what it was to love to read. This quote shows that for the author, loving to read was not an accident, but a conscious decision.
StepBack • How did you choose the quotes for your Say-Mean-Matter chart? • Did it help you to listen to other students’ paragraphs? Why or why not? • When you have answered these questions, share with someone near you.
WriteAbout • Re-read “Superman and Me”. • In what ways does reading prepare Sherman Alexie for the rest of his life? What gives you clues in the text to help you answer this question? • Write down one or two quotations to share with the group that support your answer.
Discussion • Listen to each speaker. • Wait until they are finished before speaking. • Summarize what the person who spoke before you said. • Then say what your opinion and quotation is.
Reflect on Discussion • What did you learn from the class discussion? • Did it make you think differently about the text? • Did the WriteAbout help you prepare for the discussion? Why or why not?
Read for Author’s Style • When Alexie repeats “I read”, how does that affect you? • Why do you think he chose to repeat that phrase? • Does it add to the power of the text? • What is interesting and effective about repetition?
Reflection • What did you learn from the WriteAbout and the discussion? • What part of the activity helped you learn this? (Writing, talking, discussion, listening…)
Structure • Number each paragraph in the text. • In your notebook, answer: • what information is in each paragraph? (just a sentence or two) • In the first paragraph, Alexie tells the reader that… • why do you think Alexie included it? • Alexie used this paragraph to let the readers know…
Paragraph Activity • Each group will get all the sentences in one of the three first paragraphs. • Your job is to put the sentences in order. (No fair using the book!) • You will read your paragraph out loud when the task is completed. • Then, put the paragraphs in order.
Find Phrases and Clauses • In each paragraph, find at least two prepositional phrases and two subordinate (dependent) clauses.
Reflection • “Literacy” means the ability to read and understand. • What did you learn about how literacy develops by reading “Superman and Me”? I learned that reading develops when the reader …. • What did you notice about his writing? I noticed that Alexie’s writing was …
Preview the text • Look at the text of “Straw Into Gold”. • Read the words and definitions in the margins and at the bottoms of the pages. • Predict what you think the text will be about.
Read for the “gist”, or main idea • As we read “Straw Into Gold” by Sandra Cisneros, look for the answers to these questions: • What is the main idea of the text? • Who is the author? • What do we know about her? • How do we know?
Say-Mean-Matter • Find three quotations in “Straw Into Gold” that show the main idea. (Reading and life experience made Sandra Cisneros a better writer) • Write these in the “Say” boxes on the Say-Mean-Matter chart. • Example: “I’ve managed to do a lot of things in my life I didn’t think I was capable of and which many others didn’t think I was capable of either.” (96)
“Mean” • Paraphrase your quotations, or put them in your own words. • Example: Sandra Cisneros has done things she didn’t think she could do. Many other people in her life lacked confidence in her as well.
“Matter” • Explain how the quotation shows the main idea. • It should NOT restate the paraphrase or explain the quote. • Example: This quote shows that Cisneros didn’t let a lack of confidence keep her from trying to do things that were difficult, for example becoming a writer, or making tortillas. The fact that she tried seems to have led her to develop as a writer.
Turn your S-M-M into a paragraph • Add a topic sentence. It was important for Sandra Cisneros to try to do new things, even if she didn’t think she might succeed. Then your “Mean” Many other people in her life lacked confidence in her as well. Then your “Say” (quote) “I’ve managed to do a lot of things in my life I didn’t think I was capable of and which many others didn’t think I was capable of either.” (96)
End of paragraph • Then the “Matter” This quote shows that Cisneros didn’t let a lack of confidence keep her from trying to do things that were difficult, for example becoming a writer, or making tortillas. The fact that she tried seems to have led her to develop as a writer. End with a concluding sentence: Although it might be scary to try to do unfamiliar things, and no one else can encourage you, it is the way that successful people achieve confidence and experience. 12/2
Completed paragraph It was important for Sandra Cisneros to try to do new things, even if she didn’t think she might succeed. Many other people in her life lacked confidence in her as well. “I’ve managed to do a lot of things in my life I didn’t think I was capable of and which many others didn’t think I was capable of either.” (96) This quote shows that Cisneros didn’t let a lack of confidence keep her from trying to do things that were difficult, for example becoming a writer, or making tortillas. The fact that she tried seems to have led her to develop as a writer. Although it might be scary to try to do unfamiliar things, and no one else can encourage you, it is the way that successful people achieve confidence and experience.
WriteAbout 1 • List some ways Sandra Cisneros says that reading and writing shaped her life. (Find places in the text that prove your ideas - create a t-chart)
WriteAbout • How are her experiences different from Sherman Alexie’s? • In what ways are her experiences the same as Alexie’s? • Make another chart to express the answers.
Discussion • Form a circle. • Listen to the speaker. • Share your answers to the WriteAbout questions.
StepBack • List some ways that the discussion helped you learn more about what Cisneros thinks about literacy. • Did the discussion convince you to change or add to the WriteAbout? If it did, take a few moments to add those ideas to your WriteAbout from yesterday.
Find Adjectives • Look at the text, and make a note of any adjectives (which one, what kind, how many) that seem to be especially descriptive. • Be prepared to share those words.
WriteAbout • Why do you think Sandra Cisneros compares herself to the miller’s daughter who must turn straw into gold? Sandra Cisneros is like the miller’s daughter because ….
Discussion • Listen to each speaker - be respectful. • Wait until your turn to speak. • Look for answers that are different from yours. • Write down any questions you have in your notebook to ask after everyone has had a chance to speak.
Allusions • An “allusion” refers to a story or event that most people are familiar with. • In your classwork section, answer: How does Cisneros’s use of this allusion affect you as a reader? The allusion affects me because it shows me how… What else do you notice in her writing that seems effective to you? I notice that Cisneros also uses…
Constructed Response • Turn the results of your T-chart comparing Alexie and Cisneros into a constructed response. • Write two paragraphs that tell how they are similar and how they are different. See the board for sentence starters and transition words.
Malcolm X • What do you know about Malcolm X? (write your answers as bullet points) • What do you want to know?
Read for the gist • As we read, ask your self these questions, then write your answers in your journal. • What is the main idea of the text? • Who is the author? • What do we know about him? • How do we know?
Say-Mean-Matter • Find three quotations in the Malcolm X text that express the main idea to you. (Say) • Paraphrase them. (Mean) • Explain how they express the main idea. (Matter)
Reflection • How did you choose your quotations? • What did you learn from reading the Say-Mean-Matter charts of your classmates?
Discussion Questions • What does Malcolm X seem to be saying about literacy? Malcolm X says that literacy is… The reader understands this when Malcolm X says”…” Name some ways that the ideas of Alexie, Cisneros and Malcolm X about literacy have influenced your ideas about your own experience with your own reading and writing. (You can write this as bullet points)
Constructed Response • Use your notes for yesterday’s discussion and write an answer using complete paragraphs, (3) and complete sentences to the question on the handout. • This MUST be handed in today!
Self-Assess • We have read a few effective constructed responses. • Re-read your own response. • Make some changes and corrections to your paper, and hand it back to me.
Compare Ms. Miller’s Notes • How are Ms. Miller’s notes on your paper similar to or different from how you assessed your own paper? • What questions do you have? • What did you learn from writing this short paper?
Re-read for Style • Is the language that Malcolm X uses formal or informal? What parts of his writing make you say so? (Find quotations to back up your thinking)
Analyze Word Choice • “It was because of my letters that I happened to stumble on starting to acquire some kind of homemade education.” • What synonyms could you use for the word “stumble”? • What synonyms could you use in place of “acquire”? • Does using these synonyms change the meaning of the sentence? How?
Discussion Question • Does Malcolm X’s use of formal English affect how well you accept his ideas? Why or why not? Would you have believed him as much if he had been more informal? • Write your answers to organize your thoughts, and be prepared to share your answer.