All of the nonfiction children’s books being published today can be divided into five major categories, and four of them have an expository writing style.
—Traditional nonfiction is a great place to begin the research process because these survey books provide a broad overview of a topic.
—Browseable nonfiction can work well later in the research process when students have focused their topic and are looking for more specific information.
—Active nonfiction is a perfect addition to makerspaces because it can help students learn a skill.
—And when it comes to mentor texts for writing workshop, expository literature is the best choice.
Unlike other kinds of expository nonfiction, expository literature presents a narrowly-focused topic in a creative way that reflects the author’s zeal for the subject. As writers craft a manuscript, they select a format and text structure that complements their unique approach to the content. They experiment with voice and enrich their prose with language devices. The result is finely-crafted text that delights as well as informs. This is the kind of experience we want young nonfiction writers to have too.
Here are some activities that can help students gain a greater understanding of four key text traits associated with high quality expository writing: