Narrative vs. Expository


Writing Trait/Strategy:

text structure; organization


Mentor Text Suggestions:
(links at end of post)


To help students see the difference between narrative and expository text, begin by reading aloud two companion books about the same topic—one narrative and one expository. Example: Miss Spider’s Tea Party by Kirk, Neeley and White (narrative) and Spiders by Gail Gibbons (expository). Discuss the text features of each and record students’ observations on chart paper. Lead students to conclude that the narrative (story) has characters, setting, problem, solution and the author’s purpose is mainly to entertain. Conclusions about the expository (informational) text should include that it uses facts to explain, describe, persuade, instruct, or retell. The author’s purpose is mainly to inform the reader rather than entertain. During subsequent read aloud sessions, ask students to identify whether the text is narrative or expository and to give their supporting reasons.




Narrative vs. Expository
Companion Books

Miss Spider’s Tea Party  vs.  Spiders

Owl Moon vs.  Birds of Prey: Learn About Eagles, Owls, Falcons, Hawks And Other Powerful Predators Of The Air

















Keep the Lights Burning Abbie vs.

Beacons of Light: Lighthouses
















Stellaluna vs.

Bats! Strange and Wonderful

















The Snowy Day vs.

White Out! A Book About Blizzards











Tacky the Penguin vs. Penguins



















The Pirate Meets the Queen vs.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pirate’s Prisoner!





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