What would it look like if the STAAR expectations for the Expository Essay were put into a graphic organizer planning page?
It would look a little something like this structure that I have created for my classroom. As a visual learner myself, I needed to create a graphic organizer, acting as a checklist as I taught the Expository Essay to my 7th graders. I then turned it over to them to see if they would find it to be as helpful, and I was astonished at their improvement. Although I completely discourage formulaic essays, I feel as if this crucial visual is now completely essential to teaching young writers the new genre of expository writing specific to STAAR's requirements. My students' 99% passing rate on last year's STAAR Writing test has much to do with how I taught writing an expository essay with this graphic organizer and its helpful acronym, ICEE.