Monday, March 26, 2012

Young Children's Writing of Exposition


Question: How do young children differ in their knowledge of narrative forms of writing and expository forms of writing?

Answer/Quote: “Very little is known about children’s knowledge of critical features of expository text…, especially with regard to their use of that knowledge  in writing…. This is in stark contrast to the extensive information that exists about children’s understanding of narrative forms…. “ p. 179.

 Quote: “Our tentative conclusion, that children learn to write exposition, at least the more complex forms of it, through reading experiences leads us to challenge the well documented practice of severely limited exposure of children to exposition during the elementary school years…. That children, even at an early age, could learn important information about expository text suggests that there is no legitimate reason for protecting children from experience with such text. In fact, it would seem wise to provide children with substantial opportunities to read and use a variety of well written expository texts.” P. 207.

Comment: In the past, research has been very clear that the amount of narrative reading in the elementary school is much greater than exposure to expository reading. The consequences are that children have little understanding of the kinds of reading and writing that increase with grade levels. I wonder if that has changed in 2012? RayS.

Title: “Children’s Knowledge of Organization, Cohesion, and Voice in Written Exposition.” BE Cox, T Shanahan, and MB Tinzmann. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1991), 179-218,

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