Informational Writing for Elementary Students
Engage the students in a conversation regarding pumpkins. Then, ask the students to think about if they have ever helped to carve a pumpkin. This really peaks student interest around the month of October.
Begin the creation of a KWL regarding pumpkins. Have students discuss with a partner what they already know about pumpkins. Then ask the students what they want to learn more about regarding pumpkins.
Take some think time to come up with what they will tell their partner regarding the assistance of carving a pumpkin. When discussing with partners, complete sentences must be used.
2 Direct Instruction
Teacher will read aloud several nonfiction books throughout the unit, and add to the KWL chart. Some nonfiction pumpkin books include...
From Seed to Pumpkin (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Books Series) by Wendy Pfeffer
The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
From Seed to Pumpkin ( Welcome Books) by Jan Kottke
Perfect Pumpkins by Jeff Bauer
Students will listen to the information read by the teacher. They will think of one new fact that they learned regarding pumpkins, and share it with a partner after the read aloud. Students will give the teacehr information to add to the KWL chart.
3 More Direct Instruction
Tell the students that there are different ways of gathering information for their writing. Show the piece on "Pumpkin Harvest" on PebbleGo to the whole class. Discuss the information with the students before going on to the next section.
Using Google Images helps with showing students that there are actually red and blue pumpkins!!
Students will watch "Pumpkin Harvest" on PebbleGo and come up with new information reagrding pumpkins. Be ready to share with the class.
4 Guided Practice
Review with the students the different sources that they could use to gather factual information regarding pumpkins. Using a graphic organizer guide them through starting it...including adding the topic and a couple of informational facts together.
Students will begin creating their graphic organizer for their informational writing.
5 Independent Practice
At this time, students can attain more factual information about pumpkins for their graphic orgainzer. They can use computers or books. They can even use each other to get information, but they must explain to their partner where they found it. After completing their graphic orgainzer, the students will begin to write their informational piece on pumpkins.
Students will use books, the computer, and each other to gather information for their graphic organizer so that they can begin their writing.
6 Wrap Up
The teacher can have the students read their piece to a couple of other students in the classroom to ensure that it makes sense and edit as necessary. Then the teacher will listen to the student read their writing, and make necessary suggestions.
Author's chair is a great opportunity for students to share their writing. Allowing the students to put their writing under the document camera to share with the class is another way of celebrating their writing.
Students will work with other peers as well as the teacher to improve their writing. They will also ensure that their writing is "Author's Chair" or "Document Camera" ready!
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Speaking & Listening
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.