Empowering Writers

November 2018 Lesson of the Month

Lesson of the Month:  Summarizing an expository piece

Objective: Students summarize an expository piece using the summarizing framework and write an extended summary statement using informative verbs. The verbs can also be used to write informative sentences for reading response journals.


Possible expository books:

  • What Happens in Autumn by Suzanne Venino
  • As the Earth Turns Fall by Lynn M Stone
  • Autumn by Terri DeGazelle


  1. Choose a book and share the cover with the class and discuss the cover art and title. Ask students if they think the book will be a narrative or expository piece and why.
  2. Once they determine the piece is expository, instruct them to listen for the main ideas and the supporting details for each main idea (deconstruct the piece). Then, read the book aloud to the class and discuss it.
  3. Use Information About Autumn sheet to complete the summarizing framework.

Example: What Happens in Autumn by Suzanne Venino

Topic: Autumn

Main Idea #1: Leaves

Main Idea #2: Other Plants

Main Idea #3: Animals

Main Idea #4: Harvest

Ex: The text gives information about what happens during autumn. The author explains about leaves and other plants. It also focuses on the animals in fall and uncovers facts about the harvest.

See About Autumn sheet for Informative Verb list.

4. Chart information the students learned from the book. See available PDF download below.

5. Finally, have students write informative or opinion sentences with the information they learned from the piece.

Informative Sentence Starters:

  • We learned ___________.
  • Author describes __________.
  • It’s clear _________.
  • The piece also explores, examines, delves into______.
  • The author claims ___________.

*Note: You can easily turn this lesson into a descriptive lesson using the 5 senses. Take a look at the section on elaborative detail in our new grade level Narrative Guides.



Download Information About Autumn sheet