Exposition Writing Unit (21 Lesson Plans) – Taught by Scaffolding Literacy


Year Level:

Year 3 (But could definitely be adapted) – Download the full unit below.

Unit of Lesson Plans Overview:

This unit of work on exposition writing has been situated within a larger inquiry/integrated unit; Australia’s celebrations and commemorations, symbols, emblems and the Australian flag. This not only provides all students with high quality teaching and learning, but it also builds the field so students have a deep understanding of the issues and topics they will be focusing upon within their exposition deconstruction, joint construction and individual exposition construction. Some history lessons have been displayed throughout the learning sequence to demonstrate the kinds of lessons students will participate in that will assist them in building the field for exposition writing. Situating exposition writing within a history inquiry/integrated unit supports students in writing strong persuasive texts with a clear purpose and audience in mind, as well as a clear text structure and use of key language features at sentence and word level.

Enable to effectively take all of these things into consideration this unit of work on exposition writing has been carried out through a scaffolding literacy approach. In this approach students are introduced to the text type, as well as the specific text they will be working on and deconstructing to learn more about expositions (text orientation). Following this students participate in a series of language orientations where they are introduced to several key language features at sentence and word level that are important to the particular text type, as well as activities associated with this. Students then participate in a transformation where they identify, explore and discuss the units of meaning, observe the structure and sequence of the units of meaning and manipulate the sentence structure and meaning where appropriate. Hence, allowing students to further explore how the language features chosen by the author at sentence and word level work by cutting out, manipulating and moving or removing parts of the text.

To ensure students have good spelling skills and understand how words work following the transformation is a word study lesson where student look at phonemic, graphemic, morphemic, visual, etymological or orthographic knowledge to assist them to become good spellers. After each of these steps are carried out as a class students jointly construct an exposition, or part of an exposition. In this particular unit of work each of these steps occurs three times and students jointly construct the introduction, body and conclusion at separate times. Then finally, students construct their own exposition on a given issue or topic using what they have learnt and the jointly constructed exposition as a model.

Additionally, assessment is an ongoing part of this unit of work on exposition writing to ensure year 3 students are accomplishing the outcomes described in each of the lessons, as well as to determine the areas where students need more assistance and the effectiveness of this unit of work. Throughout this unit of work on exposition writing assessment is mostly carried out through observation and collection of student work samples which is then marked and recorded on a checklist or rubric to show students understanding as limited understanding, developing understanding, good understanding or excellent understanding.

Situated within a larger integrated/inquiry unit:

This unit of work on exposition writing is situated within a larger inquiry/integrated unit of work on Australia’s celebrations and commemorations, symbols, emblems and the Australian flag.

This topic will allow students to look at the structure, language features, audience and purpose of an exposition and explore conflicting issues of Australia through learning about Australia’s history and culture, as well as about individuals differing viewpoints on various issues.

Culminating in a rich task:

Individuals write an exposition on the topic ‘The Australian flag should be changed’ demonstrating their knowledge of the structure, language features, audience and purpose of the text. Students either agree or disagree, and justify their argument with supporting evidence.

NOTE: This unit on exposition writing taught through the scaffolding literacy approach can easily be adapted to any other integrated/inquiry unit.

Overarching English Outcomes from the Australian Curriculum:


  • Examine how evaluative language can be varied to be more or less forceful (ACELA1477)
  • Understand how different types of texts vary in use of language choices, depending on their purpose and context (for example, tense and types of sentences) (ACELA1478)
  • Understand that paragraphs are a key organizational feature of written texts (ACELA1479)
  • Understand that verbs represent different processes, for example doing, thinking, saying, and relating and that these processes are anchored in time through tense (ACELA1482)
  • Learn extended and technical vocabulary and ways of expressing opinion including modal verbs and adverbs (ACELA1484)
  • Understand how to use sound–letter relationships and knowledge of spelling rules, compound words, prefixes, suffixes, morphemes and less common letter combinations, for example ‘tion’ (ACELA1485)


  • Draw connections between personal experiences and the worlds of texts, and share responses with others (ACELT1596)


  • Identify the point of view in a text and suggest alternative points of view (ACELY1675)
  • Identify the audience and purpose of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts (ACELY1678)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features and selecting print, and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1682)

Overarching History Outcome from the Australian Curriculum:

Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems (ACHHK063)

  • Identifying and discussing the historical origins of an important Australian celebration or commemoration
  • Generating a list of local, state and national symbols and emblems (for example club emblems, school logos, flags, floral emblems, coat of arms) and discussing their origins and significance
  • Examining the symbolism of flags (for example the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags) and recognising special occasions when they are flown (for example all three flags are flown during NAIDOC week, National Reconciliation Week, National Sorry Day and MABO day)
  • Recognising the significance of other days or weeks including the Anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples (2008)

Download the full unit and lesson plans:




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