Saturday, November 2, 2013

Main Idea and Details:Take 2

My students just went through their first writing unit.  Our first unit focused on expository writing, with an emphasis on main idea verses details.  We did a lot of work on main ideas with our main idea trees (previous post).  Along with our trees, we learned how to organize and color code our expository pieces, thanks to Step Up to Writing.
If you are not familiar with Step Up to Writing(SUTW), I highly recommend checking it out.  It is a writing program that provides organizational support for writers.  I began using the program 8 years ago as a 5th grade teacher and have continued to incorporate components of it throughout the years.
My favorite writing tool from SUTW is the expository stoplight.

The stoplight provides a great visual for developing writers.
I reinforced this tool with sentence strips and color coded sentences.

I am very proud of the learning that my students participated in and am eager to see the continuous writing growth that will take place this year.

How do you teach expository writing?


  1. We are trying to start that at our school, but we don't know where to begin! I'm glad to hear you like it :)

    1. Jen,

      I really do love the program. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you are just stuck on where to start. I have been using the program for 9 years, with various grade level. I would be more than happy to get you pointed in the right direction.