Thursday, February 2, 2017

Expository Literature Mentor Texts

Yesterday’s post defined a new term that I think we all should begin using: Expository literature is “nonfiction writing that explains, informs, or describes and is of superior or lasting artistic merit.”

Besides being meticulously researched and fully faithful to the facts, expository literature features captivating art and dynamic design as well as a creative and well-executed mix of five key text characteristics.

Today I’m sharing three books that are outstanding examples of each of those five text characteristics.

Strong Voice
Lightship by Brian Floca (Atheneum, 2007)

Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating (Knopf, 2016)

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston (Chronicle, 2007)
Carefully-chosen Point of View
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson (Holt, 2015)

A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn DeCristofano (Charlesbridge, 2012)

Bone by Bone by Sara Levine (Millbrook Press, 2013)

Innovative Text Structure
Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gene Barretta (Holt, 2009)

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003)

Purposeful Text Format
Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks (First Second, 2015)

An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston (Chronicle, 2006)

When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone by Dorothy Patent Hinshaw (Walker, 2008)

Rich, Engaging Language
If You Hopped Like a Frog by David M. Schwartz (Scholastic, 1999)

Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee (Bloomsbury, 2014)

Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson (Holt, 2013)

Stay tuned throughout the spring for detailed discussions of these key text characteristics as well as classroom activities to introduce and reinforce them.

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