The field of informative writing is really broad! There are so many elements to this sort of writing that must be addressed before teaching an informative writing unit.
The teacher must choose the sub-genre: how-to essay, speech, blog article, podcast episode, or YouTube video script. The sky is the limit when it comes to sub-genres; teachers may also allow students to select their own. This will almost certainly raise student engagement!
Students must learn how to generate concepts, narrow their topic, research it, take notes, express knowledge in their own words, understand copyright law, write a hook, employ anecdotes, and utilize nonfiction text features among other things. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of informative writing word lists.
In this blog article, you’ll find five mini-lessons in the order I’d present them to your students for their next informative writing unit. These little lessons have been created according to national standards and reflect typical difficulties pupils encounter with this sort of writing.
Mini-Lesson Number 1
CHECK OUT MENTOR TEXTS
Students must be familiar with the many sub-genres of informational writing. They require frequent exposure to tutoring works. You could make something similar to the one shown below for your pupils. It’s a Google Slideshow that students can click on to learn that informative writing exists everywhere and overlaps with other forms of writing, such as argumentative writing. Informing writing includes pieces of information.
Mini-Lesson Number 2
LIST TOPICS IDEAS
Once students are comfortable with this style, you should narrow down the sub-genre they will produce and get started brainstorming! I found that using lists to help students brainstorm is the most successful approach. Have students make lists of things they are interested in, hobbies, passions, and topics about which they may write. They must create pages and pages of lists.
However, not all pupils need to spend a lot of time drafting. Some pupils may already know exactly what they want to write about from the start. Allow these students to skip straight to the drafting stage. There hasn’t been much research yet! You don’t want kids imitating material that comes from the internet. Instead, make them produce everything they know first before diving into research.
Mini-Lesson Number 3
BUILD DRAFTING STAMINA
In the following lesson, instead of reading something to students on a restricted topic they’ve chosen, have them write nonstop for a whole class period. Call it a writing race; set a timer and instruct students to produce two complete pages on their topic; then say, “ready-set-go.”
Yes, this process will be difficult for students. “I don’t know much about it; I’ll have to research!” Students will say, and you should reply, “Excellent! Make a list of all of your queries; just keep writing; don’t put down your pen/pencil!”
Take notes on your observations of students during this drafting endurance session. Who is having trouble with this assignment? Without stopping, who appears to be completely at ease writing everything they know? Keep a class roster in a notepad and use symbols to indicate whether students are doing well or poorly.
Mini-Lesson Number 4
RESTRICT YOUR OBJECTIVE
Students will often start with broad topics at the beginning, and that’s completely normal. It is our duty to explain to students how to narrow their topic and why it is critical to do so. Have students list broad categories first (they did this in mini-lesson two) then have them create new lists based on their existing list of items. Students can use the titles of mentor texts to help them analyze their own topic and mimic those names using their own subject.
Mini-Lesson Number 5
It may seem difficult to teach students how to research online, but it does not have to be. All you have to do is follow the procedure with your own topic. Begin by writing specific queries about your subject. These might come from a list you created in mini-lesson four when you narrowed down your topic. Then go through Google and look for sources that fulfil three criteria: trustworthiness, readability, and relevance while speaking out loud. This instructional video demonstrates how it’s done.
Informational writing is an excellent method to boost students’ self-esteem and engagement. The more you let kids write about what they are passionate about, the more interested they will be and the greater their confidence in their abilities as writers will grow. Hopefully, these little lessons have piqued your interest in including informative writing into a unit!