In this unit, students will build informational writing skills while researching topics to become experts on. They will read through various texts on the topic, taking notes, applying what they’ve learned in the reading unit on becoming an expert on a topic. They will then write an informational essay using the knowledge they’ve built as experts.
For texts, teachers can either use one topic whole-class that they have a lot of resources around (like frogs), or they can allow students to be more independent in choosing their topics. If you choose independence, consider looking at your resources and offering managed choice based on what’s available. You could give students five or six options and have them rank them. Then, each day during writing, they can sit with their research groups and their text-sets to work on the day’s objective.
The goals of the unit are to:
• Teach students notetaking skills
• Help transition students from All About Books to research based informational essays
• Teach students to integrate researched facts into their informational writing.