With increased focus on informational writing and opinion writing in U.S. curriculum, Common Core State Standards, and state standardized tests, upper elementary school teachers need to teach their students to write expository paragraphs and the five-paragraph essay structure. This ethnographic study focused on how one fourth grade teacher of an inclusive classroom integrated playful talk-based activities across each day in support of her students learning to write in the expository genre. Qualitative data were collected, including field notes, interviews, and documents such as lesson plans and student writing. Classroom talk and interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Findings indicate that the teacher facilitated structured student talk in Morning Meeting, Shared Reading and Interactive Writing times. These structured “talk” times where students rehearsed ideas for writing involved process drama, music, and games, and all helped students’ understanding of and appropriation of the D/discourse of essay writing. This understanding and fluency with the spoken essay structure paved a path for students’ success when organizing ideas for and writing essays. This article offers narratives of classroom talk that could serve as inspiration for creating engaging, rigorous, and inter-disciplinary writing curriculum and instruction.
Coakley-Fields, Mary R.
"Process Drama, Play and Popstars: Integrating Expository Writing Rehearsal Opportunities Across the Day in a Fourth Grade Inclusive Classroom,"
The Language and Literacy Spectrum: Vol. 31:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.buffalostate.edu/lls/vol31/iss1/4