From guiding children through the first steps of understanding classification, to developing writing skills, ETC's Animal Stories provides the opportunities for students to simply develop true and "authentic" writing skills.
Stop promoting the 5 paragraph approach and begin introducing a more appropriate structure that encompasses a more robust writing structure. Structure, including transitions and organization are all elements that can be developed and expanded upon through the included stories, pictures and questions.
Informing and explaining. The associated questions that are provided with the stories, allow students to develop text that gives explanations and describes how things work. It's the classic "who, where, what, why" approach but with a more guided approach.
In addition to informing and explaining, there are often other factors associated with expository writing. Comparison, cause and effect, problem and solution, and extended definition are all encouraged and promoted.
Learning how to develop details. Developing an appropriate level of details is key in expository writing. Therefore, the pictures that are chosen, the text that accompanies each picture, touches on specific details that are intended to be a springboard for the students to further develop.
Finally, it is important for students to understand that conciseness and clarity is vital in any type of written material that is intended as a brief, or a summary. These are skills that will often be necessary as they progress through the various levels.