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Wednesday, February 5

How to Teach Informational Writing


informational-writing

Do you teach informational writing? I do and I used to hate it. I would gladly teach narrative writing all day long, but informational writing? No thanks. Last year things changed, now I love teaching informational writing! Read this post to learn about how I use informational writing graphic organizers, anchor charts, hook activities, and more to teach informational writing in my class.

How to Teach Informational Writing 

informational-writing-anchor-chart

Right now my students are in the midst of our informational writing unit, and we are loving it! My students have researched animals of their choice and are now writing papers to share their new learning. We started this unit with discovering animals around the world. I printed out these free animal pictures HERE to hook them on the unit. For this hook activity I placed a random pile of animals on each table. 
informational-writing

Next, I had my students discuss different ways they could group the animals in front of them. Paws, habitats, predators, and more were just a few of the groupings they created. Then, I had them switch to a new table and start the process over again with the animal pictures at that table. It was such a fun activity and a great way to hook my students into their upcoming animal research writing.

 Informational Writing Anchor Charts

informational-writing-anchor-chart

Next, I introduce my students to the Informational writing anchor chart. I love anchor charts (although truth be told, I am always self-conscious about my hand writing on them). This anchor chart is simple, visual, and just what my students need to understand the informational writing process. This anchor chart describes the components in an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a closing. I keep this informational writing anchor chart posted on my wall throughout the entire writing unit as a visual tool for my students to refer to.

informational-writing

Informational Writing Graphic Organizers

informational-writing-graphic-organizers

The next step I take when teaching informational writing is to introduce writing tools. By writing tools I mean graphic organizers, informational writing graphic organizers to be exact. Guys, I love graphic organizers! It always amazes me how such a simple tool can make enormous differences for my writers! I designed these informational writing graphic organizers for my students last year and have loved teaching informational writing ever since. I break down each part of the writing process for my kids and they feel so successful! I love giving them the tools and watching them take off running, it’s such a proud teacher moment. You can check out the informational writing graphic organizers I use by clicking HERE.

informational-writing-graphic-organizers 
informational-writing-graphic-organizers

Now that my students know the process and have the tools, it's time to get rocking! I allow them to pick a research topic of their choice. Then we work through the pages in the informational writing graphic organizer pack together. I do A LOT of active modeling when I project the sheets onto my board and we fill them out together for my research topic.

informational-writing-graphic-organizers

Informational Writing Research


I love teaching informational writing because it allows my kiddos to take charge of their own learning. They pick a research topic of their choice, I coach them through the informational writing process, and the information searching and discovery is led by them. I take time to teach proper research skills so they don’t accidentally end up on a website that will get me called into the principal's office. Once they know keywords to type in and sites to trust, it’s game on and they are all about it!
informational-writing



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