This author young author has attempted to write an expository piece about the beach. There are some things that he has done well, but there is also room for improvement, especially when it comes to transitions. Although most of the sentences flow nicely, there are others that do not.
In addition, a conversation about genre would be helpful. Although this assignment was to write an expository piece, and this does provide information to the reader, it is full of opinion language (I love…Ahhh…now that’s relaxing…) suggests that the author’s purpose is to express and support a strong opinion about the topic. This is an important distinction to make, and one that the author needs to be clear about. A straight piece of expository writing should stick to objective information rather than these types of opinion statements.
Let’s look closer at the strengths first. This student has chosen broad yet distinct main ideas/reasons for the beach experience. He elaborates on these main ideas/reasons throughout the piece and does a fair job supporting them with details. The use of the detail generating questions, “What does it look like? Why is that important?” would help this author further elaborate.
But a closer look reveals an area where there is room for growth. The second paragraph reads…The first reason I love about the beach is that there is many different types of shells. Later in the paper he writes…Another way to relax is to close your eyes, hear the sounds, and take a deep breath. These are weak and predictable transitions. This child needs help with sentence variety.
With the Empowering Writers curriculum, students are exposed to transition sentence starters to help with sentence flow. Let’s look at an example…
It’s amazing to think about the different types of shells, instead of…The first reason…
Who wouldn’t enjoy closing their eyes, listening to nature sound, while taking deep breaths? instead of…Another way.
Young writers need to be given a variety of transition words and phrases to use in place of redundant, predictable language. Once you give them the words to use and teach them how to make their sentences flow naturally, one to another, it will make a big impact in their writing.