Home » Writing » Expository writing-how to directions

Expository writing-how to directions

I’m really trying to teach writing this year and not just grammar. Probably still won’t make an A+ in this area yet, but I’M TRYING!! πŸ™‚

Our first “how to” directions were on a game of their choice. Yes, I should have started out with everyone doing the same thing and then progressing to choice… I’m learning. πŸ™‚

The 1st thing we did was read different game directions. These were our mentor texts. πŸ™‚

I broke them up into small groups. Each group had 4 sets of game directions to read and discuss. They had to talk about what they noticed for each set. Then we shared out loud as a whole class. I just googled game directions and chose 4-Bingo, Jacks, Tic Tac Toe, and Heads Up Seven Up.

They filled out a RAFT organizer-short and sweet.

Role-What is their role as a writer

Audience-Who are they writing for

Format-what type of writing

Topic-what are they writing about

For this piece of writing it looked like this:

R-game maker A-kids aged 9-13 (If I remember correctly) F-how to directions T-the name of their game

They wrote a Β rough draft. They used the CUPS method to check/edit. They swapped with a partner and used the CUPS method on their paper. They rewrote for a final copy.

This all lasted for about 1 1/2 weeks since we don’t have much time for english/writing each day.

If I had started teaching writing earlier in the year instead of english grammar I would have extended this so that we could play a few of the games based off their written directions. πŸ™‚ I also thought it might have been cool to have them create a gameboard and write directions for that. Possibilites, possibilites…..

Oh, and by the way my favorite game of the ones above is JACKS!!

Anyone have suggestions for expository writing? How to directions? Writing in general?


7 thoughts on “Expository writing-how to directions

  1. I’m in a teacher education program in WA state and will (hopefully) be teaching English/social studies soon. I’m wondering – does your state/district mandate that you teach more grammar than actual writing? I’m wondering if using relevant writing (like you explained in this blog post) first and then using mini lessons to teach grammar alongside the writing project would work well. I was taught grammar by itself with very little actual writing when I was in middle school…which was awfully dull, but I rock at grammar now.

    So I guess my question is, do you find it more effective to teach kids how to use English conventions by explicitly teaching grammar without much actual writing or by using writing to teach grammar? And how much say in that do you actually have?

    Thanks! And love your blog!

    • Ok here comes my opinion. πŸ™‚

      This is my 3rd year teaching upper grades. They never remember grammar through isolated instruction. Might remember it for a test but it doesn’t stick. So essentially they could make all As in English thru this type of teaching and never develop as a writer which is what we have to do in real life.

      One example is my daughter-got to college and STRUGGLED with writing!!!!

      So to answer one of your questions- I think teaching grammar inside of writing is the best way. Have I done this yet? No, but I’m working on it. πŸ™‚

      As far as my district, they say to teach the standards. They don’t say how long to stay on any standard. It’s pretty much left up to individual teachers which can be a hit or miss. πŸ™‚

      Does this help? You will do great. Do what you feel is best, and always ask yourself-how will this help my students in their lives forever?? πŸ™‚

  2. I teach grammar in tiny snippets–usually 10-minute warm-ups and we do writing the rest of the time (30 minutes). I teach 7th – 8th grade. With all writing, I find the most success mastering one paragraph at a time. Work on beginnings/intros first, the first body paragraphs, etc. My model for each paragraph is I show them one of mine, we write one together, they write 1 or 2 with a group, then they write independently.

    • Jan,

      I’ve GOT to remember to do use that method-I do, we do, y’all do, you do- like you said! I think that sometimes I model and then expect them to just get it!!


I love hearing from you. Let's have a conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s