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by Adele Barnett
This unit was designed for a class of struggling readers and writers with the short term goal of preparing them for the reading and expository essay portions of the STAAR End of Course exam. It could easily be adapted (by differentiated texts or levels of scaffolding) for either middle school or more advanced courses in high school. The longer term goal, beyond the EOC, is to help build their confidence and skill as readers and writers. This unit has them write in the expository mode while making connections to their own lives and experiences. Because of their previous writing experiences in school, students tend to enter high school most comfortable with the narrative mode of writing, and often struggle with the more formal genres such as expository writing. This unit uses that prior knowledge as a bridge to the types of writing that often prove more challenging. The overarching goal of this unit is to have students learn to write an effective expository essay that will allow them to be successful on the EOC exam, while learning more about themselves and their classmates.
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