One thing that I love about the new Common Core Standards is that they ask for students to writing regular short pieces of writing throughout the year in the three main writing disciplines: narrative, argument/opinion and informative.
The mini-unit I have created here asks for students to write an in-depth profile or report about a wacky animal. Kids love animals and bring some great background knowledge about them. This allows them to focus on the research and the writing, rather than deciphering tough content material. Students will enjoy learning about wacky animals like the puffer fish or the narwhal.
Students will first explore the features of informative writing using actual text examples provided in science magazine and a graphic organizer. In this way, they will actively learn about what makes good informative writing versus just begin told about it. Also included in this pack is a set of guided notes which can act as an anchor for later informative writing.
Students begin by picking a wacky animal. After this, they then
utilize multiple sources (books and websites), to write a profile of the animal. They will utilize common non-fiction text features like subheadings, graphics, captions, and special text to help guide their reader in understanding the text. Final drafts will be compiled into a Wild Wacky Animals magazine. This can be bound at a local office supply store and be used as a great addition to your classroom library. OR students can give this book to a younger grade level.
Assessment is an integral part of this unit. There is room for peer critique and assessment, self-assessment and reflection through
a set of questions and checklist, and a CCSS aligned rubric with room for teacher feedback.
I hope that you and your students really enjoy this writing unit. Hopefully, it will be fun, easy-to-implement and students will learn a lot about informative writing. The unit plan and pacing guide should be easy for you to follow; everything is laid out.However, if you have any questions about the implementation of this mini-unit, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
**I have aligned this to grades 4-6 CCSS, however, I have used this project successfully with 7th and 8th grade with slight modifications.**
Like the looks of this mini-unit? Bundle and save! Check out my -Writing Mini-Unit Bundle
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Or if you're the science teacher find this activity as part of my Animal Science Bundle
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Please note that when you purchase this activity, it is meant for one teacher use only. If you would like to share (which I would LOVE for you to do), please purchase additional licences. Please also note that the material in the activity is copyright of Jen Maschari and cannot be re-posted, re-published, or re-distributed in any way (including online) unless express permission is received from the author (except for in-person or password protected classroom/student use).