Thursday, December 1, 2016

Focused on Informational Text!

Third graders have spent the start of second quarter focused on nonfiction text. In reading, students are learning strategies to deepen their understanding of nonfiction text, while at the same time working in writer’s workshop to write their own nonfiction text. It is very beneficial for students to be reading and writing this genre at the same time. Students learn about the elements of nonfiction and study what other authors do in order to make their own writing stronger.

In reading, students have spent time studying text features, determining main ideas, thinking about how authors organize their writing, and using the text to answer questions. Students work each day interacting with their nonfiction text in reader’s workshop in order to deepen their knowledge on the topic they are reading about.

We used a structure in our teams at the beginning of the unit to create a list of what we noticed about nonfiction.

In writing, students have chosen a topic that they consider themselves to be an expert on. They have brainstormed all they know about the topic, organized the information into chapters, and have started drafting the chapters considering which structure will best present the information in the chapter. They will eventually add text features and other research to make their writing stronger. Some topics that the students are teaching about include caring for cats, caring for dogs, video games, Velociraptors, baseball, swimming, decorating for Christmas, and Christmas in Mexico.

Beginning of the process: Brainstorming facts to include in our books.

I have really enjoyed teaching students about informational text in this way. There are so many connections that we make during the day with our reading and our writing. During a reading lesson I often say, “This is something that you may choose to do in your own writing.”  During writing, I think students understand better what they need to do in their own writing because we can make the connection to something worked on in reading. By learning in this way it really helps their understanding of the purpose of informational text.

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