Expository Essay Activities & Exercises

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Do your students groan when it is time to write essays? Would you like to engage them in the writing process in fun and exciting ways? This lesson offers fun activities to engage students in expository essay writing.

Activities to Learn

Have you ever sat in a class listening to a teacher lecture on a topic? You might have been interested in the topic but still found that you became restless after a short period. Did you feel that you had taken in all the information at the end of the lecture?

Learning through listening alone creates a situation where the student is just a receiver of information — it is an inefficient form of learning. Active engagement in the learning process allows students to process information deeply and sustain that knowledge over long time frames. This lesson offers individual and class activities to help your students to become actively involved in learning about expository essay writing.

Whole Class Activities

These activities are for the whole class to be involved in at once. They encourage participation through shared experience.


This activity needs to be started the day before you intend to play the game. To introduce this activity, remind students that expository essays should give factual information about a topic. Discuss how these essays can be boring if the information given is extremely common. Give students a list of topics, such as 'tigers', 'earthquake', or 'Mount Etna'. The list should include 5 – 10 topics depending on the age and skill level of your students. Ask students to find one obscure fact about each topic for homework.

The next day, you are ready to play. Have students stand next to their desk. Ask the first student to read out the obscure fact he/she found on the first topic. Everyone who has written the same fact must sit down (if anyone sits, the reader must also sit). Continue to work through all standing students until everyone's fact has been read out loud. Those students still standing were successful in finding truly obscure facts. Repeat the game for all the topics assigned.

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