informational writing · video · writer identity · writing workshop

Energizing Information Writing

While none of these ideas for information writing require that students go through the entire process of writing an introduction-to-conclusion information piece, they do have the potential to inspire students to do some on-the-spot information writing, and sometimes these short spurts provide the practice or jump-starts that students need.

celebration · checklists · goals · informational writing · writing workshop

Keeping the Energy In a Unit of Study

A six to eight-week writing unit may not be the equivalent of running a marathon, although some may beg to differ this year, but it still requires some creativity for strong and energetic finishes. As I work with several teachers who are in the final third of their information writing units across a variety of grades, here are a few ideas for maintaining energy.

informational writing · writer identity · writing workshop

Identity Webs to Generate Ideas for Information Writing

When it comes to generating ideas for information writing, my experience has been that some students freeze. There are two things I have learned about why this occurs.

informational writing · rehearsal · research-based writing

Use Oral Rehearsal to Aid Note-Taking

Anyone who has ever taught research-based writing to upper elementary school students knows, this is hard, but important, work since children need to know -- from an early age -- that they need to take notes in their own words. Oral rehearsal can help!

goals · informational writing · writing workshop

Moving Along — and Backing Up — in Information Writing

When any task involves many skills, there are a lot of places for a metaphorical bump in a straw. When we break the task down, the final product involves many potential downfalls!

immersion · informational writing · nonfiction · nonfiction writing · noticings · writing workshop

The Immersion Phase of a Unit: Reading and Writing Collide

The immersion phase of a unit allows us all to get to know our subject. For students, it might be ideas they have and for teachers, it is about getting to know their writers a bit better.

Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach · informational writing · narrative · writing workshop

Narrative Writing: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

So many stories, so many possibilities for weaving narrative writing into other genres-- and so much fun we can have doing it!

charts · immersion · informational writing · self-assessment · writing workshop

A Peek Into the Start of an Information Unit

When we show students examples of what they should be creating before and during their writing, we are, in many ways, providing them a figurative ride up the chairlift with many good skiers in front of them. In two separate classrooms, I introduced an information writing unit with a classroom teacher with a pile of books and writing samples and the students sitting in a circle. "Your job," I said, "is to look at these books and pieces like writers. What did the author do? How did they do it?"

informational writing · Mary Ehrenworth · mentor texts · publishing

On Rethinking the Publishing of Information Writing

When it comes to writing, a need for writers to have a clear vision is one of the big reasons we provide mentor texts in writing workshop.  Kids need to see not only a goal or end toward which they may aspire, but I would add that they need to be provided models to become inspired.  For we all know the effect inspiration can have on anything we are up to in life, right? It matters.  It helps. And certainly, writing is no exception. Read on to learn about why making a big deal of publishing informational writing is worth considering...

informational writing · mentor texts · picture book

A Mentor Text to Inspire the Next Generation of Writers and Activists + a Book Giveaway

I’ve found a hybrid mentor text that will inspire young writers and budding activists. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Scot Ritchie’s new book, Join the No-Plastic Challenge.

informational writing · research · research-based writing

A Quick Way to Deal with Bibliographies for Elementary School Writers

Have your upper elementary school students spent lots of time creating a reference list? Free up the time spent on making a reference list perfect by using an online citation tool.

creativity · curriculum · curriculum planning · informational writing · research · writing workshop

No More Cookie-Cutter Teaching

As educators, we need to take ownership of our teaching.  If you think your tried and true lessons are lackluster, change them.  Start with looking at your students and asking yourself, what do my students need? What are their strengths? Next, look at the VERBS in your standards. Precisely what is it your students need to master in this unit?  Finally, embrace the art of teaching, follow their lead.