Saturday, January 17, 2015

Engaging Writers with Expository Fiction

I love expository fiction! This kind of writing uses the structures and conventions of expository writing, but with fiction details. For kids of all ages, expository fiction is fun because kids can play with the expository genre while still having complete control over every detail.

Over the years, I've done several different projects with this kind of writing. One of my favorites was "Fashion-A-Fish", based on the Project WILD activity. After creating a fish, students wrote about the adaptations and shared their imaginary creatures in a class guidebook.
This is my example. So much fun to make!

Right now students are creating their own imaginary countries. It's so fun because it naturally covers many important topics, like landforms....

"Mrs. Kissner, what's a bay again?"
"Well--it's kind of like the opposite of a peninsula. Think an area of water, surrounded by land on three sides."

and capital letters...

"Remember, you need to capitalize both parts of a proper noun--like Chocolate River, the C and the R are capitalized." (Repeated at least 20 times over the next three days.)

and, next week, writing an outline. We'll be learning about introductions, conclusions, and transitions over the weeks to come. What makes this kind of writing so engaging for readers is that they control the details. Need more information? They just go back to their maps, bounce some ideas off their neighbors, and weave in the interesting details.

There are so many other options for expository fiction. It's a great way to help kids learn about expository writing!

Design A Land Activity Set

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