In this unit, students will build proficiency in writing an informative piece while researching topics in which they’d like to build expertise. They will start by building background knowledge on their topic through close reading of various texts. Then, 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, or they can allow students to be more independent in choosing their topics. A nice way to make a connection to the reading unit would be to have students become experts on different natural disasters. 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
• To teach students the purpose of informational writing.
• Teach students to integrate researched facts into their informational writing.