To create the chart, we wanted to pass out a variety of texts that are either fiction, poetry, or expository. We have previously taught the genres of fiction and poetry, but expository text is something new for our kids (as a genre of reading). Students will identify the genre of each text and then use it to review the characteristics of fiction and poetry. The teacher will create a chart from the students' background knowledge.
After the first two columns are complete, the teacher will directly introduce the purpose and characteristics of expository texts.
The idea behind this is the same as helping me learn how to watch basketball - it helps kids know what to look for in a text. If I pick up a text and say, "This is fiction. I'm going to look for a main character who has a problem and solves it," that gives me some mental velcro to stick the important pieces of the story to.
If I pick up an informational text and say, "This is expository text. I'm going to read to be informed about a topic. I'll look for main ideas of each section to find out what's important," I will be prepared to read that text and pull out what's important.
It's all about making meaning!
And kids who make meaning of text are more likely to read something. Which is why I hate basketball.