As we begin writing the expository essay using the students’ research on an Arctic animal, we will be following the process piece timeline. These process pieces are at the back of all of the Expository/Opinion EW books and in section 6 on the HUB. Download the process piece lesson plan here. This timeline is initially intended to take 7 class periods, however, you can adjust these mini-lessons to your schedule easily.
Today, I modeled the process of choosing your main ideas from a list. Notice that since we already brainstormed what to research, this now becomes the list that we will choose out main ideas from. Watch the modeled lesson below on directing students to create broad yet distinct main ideas for their expository pillar. (Click here for the Expository Writing Pillar)
Then proceed to have students fill in their pillar using the list to create details under each of the main ideas they chose. The details are the words that are now circled in a color and sorted into groups. Students will then be able to fill in their information on their framework. Main idea three will be filled with specific amazing or interesting facts that they found about their animal in their research.
I know that students are required to be able to develop their own main ideas and details, but I model this all the way until it is time for the test! You, the teacher, need to be ingraining the thought process of choosing broad and distinct main ideas into their little minds! You can NEVER model too much. Yes, I know there are times when we need them to practice this on their own, but with every one they do on their own, we need to be modeling several to properly show them how an author sorts and categorizes correctly. The biggest bang for your buck is in your modeled lesson!
So as often as I can, together with my students, I walk through the process of deciding your main ideas and details.