Face the Facts!

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

A 60-minute lesson designed to introduce the purpose of informational texts.

Tuning In

  • Read the narrative text, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, to the class. Alternatively, watch a video animation of the book on YouTube. After reading, ask the students:
    • Is this a fiction or nonfiction text?
    • How do you know?
    • What is the text about?
  • Pose the following question to the students: What would you need to do to turn a fiction text about owls into a nonfiction text? As a class, brainstorm some ideas. List the students' suggestions as a mind map on the board.

Teacher Instruction

  • Display the informational text, The Great Wise Owl (located on page 5 of the task cards). Read the text as a class. After reading, ask the students:
    • What type of text is this?
    • How do you know?
    • How is this text different from the book Owl Babies?
  • Draw a Venn Diagram on the board. As a class, compare The Great Wise Owl with Owl Babies.
  • Display and discuss slide 5 of the Developing Informative Writing Skills PowerPoint. Encourage the students to suggest other topics for informational texts.

Guided/Independent Learning

  • On a large piece of paper or in their journals, ask the students to draw a family member's picture. Around the image, encourage the students to write words or phrases that could be included in an informational text about their family member. Remind the students that an informational text describes a particular topic using facts.
  • Ask for volunteers to share their illustration and facts with the rest of the class.

Wrapping Up

  • Ask the students to start bringing in examples of informational texts, e.g., newspaper articles, brochures, posters. Dedicate a space in the classroom to displaying the students' example texts and refer to these throughout the unit.


Extending Students

  • Encourage fast finishers to write a short paragraph about their family member.

Supporting Students

  • Encourage students who find writing challenging to use drawings as well as words to describe their family member.

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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