Struggling with how to teach informational writing?
Read this post to get some tips on how to teach informational writing to elementary students in a fun and interactive way. Plus, grab several resources to help amp up your informational writing units!
What is Informational Writing?
To better understand how to teach informational writing, let’s figure out what it is.
Informational writing is factual and aims to inform or explain something to the reader.
Students can have trouble with informational writing pieces because they may feel that they don’t know enough information about a subject to write a whole paper about it. Or at that moment, they can’t think of something to share about. Don’t worry; I have ways to encourage those reluctant writers.
5 Tips to Encourage Students During Informational Writing Units
1. Use Mentor texts
Mentor texts are so important to show students what a great piece of informational writing looks like. I think you can use them in all grades! Even older students will enjoy a picture book now and then; it is a great way to share good writing pieces.
Another benefit of using mentor texts is that students can see all the formats that informational pieces can be written in and all the subjects that can be written about! Students may not have much background knowledge, and sharing books is an excellent way to broaden that horizon.
2. Let Them Pick the Subject
You might think that having your students write about a topic that is being discussed in another subject is a great way to relate writing to your students but don’t do it. Let your students pick their own topics!
Just because you are learning about forces of motion in science doesn’t mean everyone is excited and ready to write a paper about it. Students will be more likely to write quality pieces if they are excited to learn about it.
3. Teach Students How To Research
One important factor in writing informational pieces is learning how to research topics. Students will need to know how to look for accurate information. Also, where to find information; a trip to the computer lab and library would be a great start.
I like to teach students to use books first when researching. They are the safer option than a computer with internet access. Also, you can give each student a book about their subject, and it will have a lot of information about the subject.
Countries are a great thing for students to research. The pictures below are from my 3rd grade writing unit.
Or, students can research animals. The pictures below are from my 2nd grade writing unit.
4. practice Writing together
I like to write an informational piece together so students can see all the steps I take to get a good piece! I want them to understand that a solid piece of informative writing takes time and many steps.
Show them the drafting process and revising process too. Students must understand that it may take several tries to get a quality informational writing piece. I also like to show them that no one writes a perfect essay on the first try. It is okay to make revisions and changes.
After all your students’ hard work, celebrate their wonderful informational writing works!
I like to have a sharing day, where the students get to share their work with their classmates. Inviting other important people from the school is also nice. Then, I like to hang their work around the room or in the hallway. Tell them how proud you are of their hard work, and they may be more likely to write for you next time!
Resources to Teach Informational Writing
Now that you have tips to help you; grab some resources to improve your writing time!
Want to try a freebie first? Grab it from the free resource library here!
I hope this post was helpful in explaining informational writing and that you got a few tips to help make teaching them a little easier! Comment below and tell me what tips you have for teaching about writing informational works.
Have a terrific day,
P.S. If you need some Informational Writing Prompts for kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, or fifth grade, check out my post here!
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