Building a Description Using Facts

Teach Starter Publishing
60 mins | Suitable for grades: 3 - 4

A 60-minute lesson in which students will build a description of an animal, person or object using facts.

Tuning In

  • Review the content of the unit so far. Ask the students:
    • What is a fact?
    • What is an opinion?
    • Which of these would you find in an informational text?

Teacher Instruction

  • Provide each student with a descriptive phrase card from the Informative Writing - Fact Sorting Activity. Depending on your class size, some students may have more than one card. Attach the three topic posters to the board - sharks, doctors, and smartphones.
  • Allow the students to take turns reading their descriptive phrases out loud. As a class, decide which topic each phrase belongs to, e.g., a type of fish belongs to the topic, sharks. Attach each descriptive card to the board underneath the corresponding topic poster, building a fact file for each topic.
  • Choose one of the three topics. Project the appropriate scaffold planning sheet (animals, objects, or people) from the Informative Texts - Scaffold Planning Sheets on the board. As a class, sort the descriptive phrases into the correct subheadings on the planning sheet. Explain to the students that these categories will become paragraphs when writing a complete informational text.

Guided/Independent Learning

  • Allow the students to choose one of the topics not covered in the previous activity. Provide the students with the appropriate scaffold planning sheet for their chosen topic (animals, objects, or people). In pairs or individually, have the students write the descriptive phrases for their topic underneath the correct subheadings on their planning sheet. Encourage the students to add any additional facts if they can.

Wrapping Up

  • Have students share how they sorted the descriptive phrases for the remaining topics.


Extending Students

  • Encourage fast finishers to research additional facts about their chosen topic.

Supporting Students

  • Allow students with lower literacy levels to work on the sorting activity in a small group with a teacher or teacher aide.

Suggested Assessment Strategies

  • used strategic whole class or individual questioning
  • observed student participation during learning activities
  • recorded student progress on a checklist
  • annotated student work samples
  • collected and reviewed student work samples
  • facilitated whole class or peer feedback sessions
  • encouraged student self-reflection
  • administered formal assessment tasks.

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