Building Expository Writers With Mentor Texts

In today's world, with so much information coming from the Internet, it's crucial to check the validity of websites. Students need to make sure that they are getting accurate and reliable information when conducting research and for expository writing. Checking information retrieved from the Internet also helps students search better and strengthen arguments about a subject. In this post, I'm going to use the book, But I Read it on the Internet!, to Build expository writers with mentor texts. 

Building Writers with Mentor texts - featuring the book "But I Read It On The Internet"

But I Read it on the Internet! is the perfect book in using the Internet for research for building expository writers. Mrs. Skorupski shows her students how to decide when the Internet is reliable. Her students want to answer the question,"Did George Washington have wooden teeth?" The children soon learn that not everything the read on the Internet is true.

Introducing the Activity

  • Ask your students if they have ever read information on the Internet that wasn't true.
  • How did they know it wasn't true?
  • How did they prove that the information wasn't true?
  • Ask your student what they look for when they are evaluating a website? photos? content? who wrote the article?
Explain to your students that after reading But I Read it on the Internet!, they will be a better judge in being able to tell if a website is reliable.

Expository Writing

Expository writing is defined as presenting reasons, explanations, or steps in a process. Students need to be knowledgable about the subject and be able to give details and examples. This is why students need to learn how to evaluate websites and check the facts. But I Read it on the Internet! provides students with a fun topic to prove if it's a true fact.

Follow-Up Activity

  • Give students a simple topic for expository writing. 
  • Complete the KWL chart. Use red and yellow highlighters to highlight items on the chart. (yellow means proceed with caution and red means challenge the item)
  • Then, choose 1 red item, 1 unhighlighted item, and 1 yellow item to find out if the facts are true. Students will use skills they learned in Evaluating Websites for the activity.
  • Use the Citing Sources to document the sources and take notes about the topic.

Building Writers with Mentor Texts - FREE download to help your upper elementary students

Here's a great video in helping your students evaluate websites. It helps students gain understanding that with expository writing, they are writing facts and not opinions.

Download Your Free Product

To learn more about distinguishing between Real and Fake News, click HERE. For your FREE RESOURCE to go along with But I Read it on the Internet!, click HERE or on the image below.

Grab this FREE download to help your upper elementary 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students be better equipped to evaluate websites. This FREEBIE is great for upper elementary students and teachers who want their kids to be able to read through web sites thoughtfully.

To purchase Writing Traits Posters for your classroom, click HERE or on the image below.

Grab these writing traits posters to help your upper elementary 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students become better writers. They're great for writing expository texts using the 6+1 Traits of Writing.

Want others to learn about building expository writers with mentor texts? Click to share out this image for others to benefit from it, too!

Building expository writers through mentor texts does not have to be difficult. You can expand on the topic by using the book "But I Read It On The Internet!" to help your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade upper elementary students better understand true information and citing sources. Your third, fourth, and fifth graders will use mentor text for expository writing and will be able to evaluate websites as a basis for checking facts for their writings. Click through to grab your FREE download!

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