Informational: – As a literacy coach, the most common request I get this year is to shadow a teacher’s class I’m having a little fun. This is the second most common request

Seriously, the most common question the teachers at my school ask me for help with are questions, specifically, how to write questions for informational texts they use in their classrooms. We have been trying to get content area teachers to adopt authentic (non-textual) reading in their classrooms for years. We are there Many have their own Newsella or Listener accounts, watch Ted Talks in class, and share with their students news articles or blogs they come across during real-world reading.



Now, the question is what to do with the texts Teachers want to write questions to test whether students are reading, but feel pressured to write quality questions to meet the requirements of our district’s assessment system. They ask me for guidance: “Do you have a list of questions?” “What are higher order questions?”

Teaching Fourth: Informational Writing Tips Writing Introductory Paragraphs

In response, I usually give them copies of the resources I have But I also ask them the question, “Why do you have to do all this work?” “What is the purpose of the lesson?” “Why don’t you let the kids write the questions?” “Have you tried any other approach?” The consensus is that children will not read unless they have questions to answer

Have you ever read an article with high school student attachment questions? Instead of reading, students use the essay Where’s Waldo? Riddle – Finding Waldo (the answer) without paying attention to the rest of the picture (article).

To provide alternatives that might be less time-consuming for teachers and more meaningful for students, I began compiling a list of activities that could replace “reading and answering questions.” Finally, with the encouragement of the #EduBlogsClub, I finished my list this week!

So, if you’re tired of struggling with questions that students don’t actually answer, consider one of these low-prep options that encourage students to actually read the essay. You can download both a color version of the graphic and a printable black and white version here (They print on legal-size paper.) And, for a little more information on each strategy, read…

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Of The Best Informational Writing Mentor Texts For Kindergarten

I hope you’ll try one of these ideas the next time you’re struggling to write an article question If you have any questions about the strategy, ask them in the comments below! You probably already know that I love learning to write You might think I’m crazy, but nonfiction writing might be my favorite type of writing It’s hard to say it’s a favorite, but honestly – I find it the easiest (personally) of the other types of writing. I think it could be because informative writing is about “teaching”. And, well, if you’re a teacher… it only makes sense, right? 

Informative writing makes it really fun for your students to become “subject matter experts”. And being an expert at something builds confidence – and that confidence can translate into their writing So I have 3 big tips for you when learning non-fiction/informative writing 

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? When you’re preparing for a written unit, you want to be really clear about what you expect from your students as the end result. You know it won’t look the same (how boring that would be!), but you know there is a goal and structure to produce something There is a process here and there 


Have a clear beginning, middle and end Let’s not disrespect it – he’s better than many adults!

Close Reading Informational Texts Like A Writer

This is the basic structure, but the skeleton of what you are trying to do And it is important to understand that not all writers will be able to write even a 3 paragraph essay And many will struggle with just one paragraph But you know where you’re going

I will quickly grab my soapbox and then leave to dwell on the subject Don’t stress about what your students can’t do Focus on their growth and progress I know you’re probably worried about your administrators, test scores, and your inner thoughts about what your students can’t do. But you know what, ten years from now – he won’t be thinking about his Grade 4 writing FSA score. He would sit in his high school classroom and have some kind of emotional reaction to writing a) I really like it – writing an essay on Lord of the Flies is not a big deal b) I don’t really care about writing. I’ll do it, but it’s not important  c) Every time the word “writing” is mentioned: roll your eyes, slump in your seat, get bored

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I’m telling you this because I lived it I’m telling you this because I care I’m telling you this because I think that everything we do in elementary school—especially in the upper grades—has a huge impact on our students’ ability to communicate through writing.

So, yes, I like to write But I also know that not everyone knows And I know there’s a reason for that Who helped you decide what you think about writing? And how does it empower you to influence your students?  Don’t let a writer define how you perform as a teacher I know every teacher thinks writing is important Do you think writing is important? That’s why you’re here The problem is with our beliefs about our writing or with us as writers And I want to help change that mindset 

Informational Texts Examples (2024)

Once you know what your end goal is, you can map out your learning points that will get you from here to there. I prefer to use the Unit Calendar to view the unit as a whole A writing calendar helps you learn what to write and when

You can keep a copy of your unit calendar in your counseling binder or notebook for reference during conferences and small groups. If you’re not sure what to teach your students during the conference, just go to your calendar to see which lessons match their needs. Your students may need something that isn’t on the calendar, but it’s a great way to gauge whether your students are applying the skills learned in the unit. 

If you are teaching upper primary, this part can be difficult if you have a set plan and program to follow If that’s you, maybe you should be more strategic – more on that in a moment


Giving students a choice of topics increases engagement This is because it invests in the quality of their work They really care about what they write about If they are reading about their subject, they will also interpret the content on their own terms Hello, reading comprehension benefits!

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Giving students choice takes their voice When students write about a topic, they will write in a way that they can relate to They get excited and passionate about the subject Our job as writing teachers is to help them channel that passion and enthusiasm into their writing

Think of that one student in your classroom who can’t stop talking about sharks He teaches you about Megalodon and how he thinks it exists Reminds you of Ross talking about rocks (Are you a Friends fan too?) That student is the author By empowering that student to write about something they care about, you unlock their writer’s voice And it will also make him care more about his writing than anything else! 

In my 4th grade classroom, we aligned this unit with our life science unit Students chose an animal as their topic and then we used what we learned in science to understand different parts/paragraphs of their letters. For example, learned behavior including propensity, life cycle and seasonal behavior Thus, students deepened what they learned in science by writing about it 

If you teach 2nd or 3rd grade, you might want to start with the All About book And I’m not saying they aren’t perfect for 4th or 5th either – you can just stretch it so they do real research. This is one of my favorite units to teach in 2nd grade Let me tell you how much third grade writing teaches you about yourself I have an entire book in the works, but for now I’ll leave you with this little throwback teaser.  I hear you 

Bugs! Informational Text

What if my students need to write in response to prompts and texts to prepare for state writing tests? 

If there is no time during class for students to write about it first

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