Let’s look at my third grade informational writing unit and all its features. Plus get strategies for teaching writing to third grade students. The purpose of informational writing pieces is to tell your readers information on a topic. Informational pieces do not include characters or dramatization. Their sole purpose is to inform the reader.
Are you struggling to get your third graders interested in informational pieces?
Possibly, your students just roll their eyes at the thought of writing and you don’t know where to turn.
Or maybe your students are struggling to see the point of informational writing; whatever your struggle, I can help!
INTRODUCING TERRIFIC WRITING
Terrific Writing is a comprehensive writing curriculum for Third Grade. This curriculum is standards based (to the common core) and genre based. But best of all, it’s actually easy to teach and engaging for students!
In this curriculum, your students will develop a love of writing. The graphic organizers, interactive notebooks, and final craft will engage students much more than a blank piece of paper. The final writing piece asks students to write about a country they love that they have chosen! After all, students love to write about things that they are interested in.
Writing doesn’t have to be dull and students definitely shouldn’t hate writing!
In Unit 3 ‘Informational Writing’, students learn how to write detailed informational pieces.
ARE YOU SHORT ON TIME?
This 5 week unit has EVERYTHING you need because let’s be honest, teachers are time-poor.
So, let’s get your evenings and weekends back, my friend! Take a break from lesson planning and searching for engaging materials. It’s all right here.
Are you ready? I’m going to share some of the awesome things about it!
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS THIRD GRADE WRITING – Informational UNIT?
First up, there are a bunch of teacher docs. Unit contents, common core standards, and teacher directions? Check.
To begin, there are some suggested mentor texts (with links to Amazon and YouTube). Also, a scope is included, which shows the 25 lessons in this unit and the relevant third grade common core standards.
Also, there is a unit at-a-glance calendar and a table that tells you what materials you will need for each lesson. Basically, I’ve tried to make this unit super easy to implement. It has everything you need!
Next, there are some suggested lesson times. To clarify, it doesn’t matter how long your writing block is, this unit can be adapted to suit it!
A lot of teachers struggle with finding the time to teach writing. If this is you, you’re not alone!
Then, there are the 25 scripted (and step-by-step) lesson plans. The lessons follow a simple format of mini-lesson, think and share, and independent writing time. There’s a lesson focus to guide you and all of the required materials are listed with numbers. For example, you’ll know exactly which posters and printables you need.
Subsequently, there’s a video that comes with this unit. This will help you organize and implement everything.
Wondering how to assess your student’s writing? Don’t sweat it!
There’s an assessment document for this unit too. It includes a rubric to help you grade your student’s writing.
However, I’m not just throwing you to the sharks here! Rubrics can sometimes be generic or difficult to decipher. That’s why I’ve made a comprehensive document with teacher directions, as well as elaborations and examples. Moreover, there’s a video to help you understand the rubric.
Informational WRITING MENTOR TEXTS
I do give a list of suggested mentor texts that you can source, but in addition, I provide three original mentor texts for this unit! These come in PDF and PowerPoint versions (as well as color and black and white). You can print them in any size or just display them on an interactive whiteboard.
The great thing about these original mentor texts is that they include all of the features of informational writing that are taught in the unit. For example, students will see examples of subtopics, supporting details, and so much more!
Informational WRITING POSTERS
This unit comes with 19 posters that you can reference! Each lesson corresponds to them. Most importantly, they are great for giving writing ideas and reinforcing the informational writing structure.
You can print them in color and laminate them. They are great for displaying in the classroom. However, you can also display these posters digitally (if you have limited printing options).
Ready to take the leap and get this Informational Writing Unit for your class? Grab it here!
Informational WRITING PRINTABLES
There are student workbook covers that you can print. There are three options, ‘My Writing Folder’, ‘My Writing Notebook’, and ‘My Writing Journal’. Your students can glue these covers onto their folders or books. The covers come in color and black and white (there are also boy and girl versions).
Let’s now take a look at the writing prompts, worksheets, interactive notebooks, and graphic organizers!
There is one interactive notebook and one all about book, as well as other cut and paste sorting activities. This way, learning is hands-on and engaging!
There are a variety of graphic organizers to help students plan their informational writing and organize their thoughts. For example, students complete multiple graphic organizers to help them complete the final writing project.
PROMPTS AND WORKSHEETS
There are many different writing prompts and worksheets to help students learn to write informational pieces. They write an all about book for the topic of their choice. As well, as informational pieces about dinosaurs, space, and their school.
This is the common core standard for informational writing that is covered with these printables –
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
THE FINAL WRITING PIECE
After students have learned about informational pieces and the requirements to include in an informational piece, they begin to prepare for their final writing piece.
First, they plan their writing. Next lesson, they write an introduction. After that, they learn about linking words and paragraphing. Then, they add details and examples to their reasoning. Finally, they write a closing.
Students will also learn about creating a table of contents and how to research an informational topic.
These are the common core standards for informational writing that are covered with these printables –
Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
Provide a concluding statement or section.
After students have written their first draft, they use two checklists to proofread their work. One checklist grades informational writing structure and the other is a more generic checklist for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
The students do a self-check, peer check, and adult check.
The students create a writing craft for their final writing piece. It’s an all about book, about a country of their choice. This craft is great for a bulletin board display.
Students can choose any country to research and then share 3-5 subtopics. There are places for illustrations, as well!
I think it’s super important to have purposeful early finisher tasks and extension activities during writing lessons. Above all, we should be challenging our advanced writers. That’s why this unit also includes task cards for informational writing.
THIRD GRADE WRITING – Informational WRITING
Here’s an overview, with some more information about the unit –
- 25 step-by-step scripted lesson plans
- 19 posters
- 19 graphic organizers / worksheets
- 1 interactive notebook and 1 all about book
- 3 original mentor texts (PowerPoint versions and PDF in color and b&w)
- 24 tasks cards extension activities (2 versions – b&w, color)
- 1 assessment rubric
- Video overview to help organize and implement the unit
- List of common core standards that align with this unit
- Teacher directions for the lesson plans
- Suggestions for differentiation and lesson times
- List of recommended mentor texts (with links)
- Unit scope and at-a-glance calendar
- Lesson materials list
- Student book/folder cover (3 versions – journal, notebook, or folder)
- 1 writing prompt pre-assessment
- 2 lined pages (for first drafts)
- 2 checklists
- 1 set of compliment notes (2 versions – b&w, color)
- 1 certificate (2 versions – b&w, color)
- Teacher directions, examples, and elaborations for the rubric
- Video with tips for using the rubric
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this third grade informational writing unit.
Click here to grab the full unit!