Using A Fact File - Shared Writing

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

A 60-minute lesson in which students will use a fact file and scaffolding sheet to write an informative text in pairs.

Tuning In

  • Explain to the students that they will apply their knowledge of informative text structure, language features, and paragraph structure to write an informative text in pairs.

Teacher Instruction

  • Project one of the fact files from the Fact File Pack - Animals, Objects, and People on the board and read through the bulleted facts as a class. Point out to the students that the facts in the fact file are key phrases rather than full sentences. Ask the students to suggest why it is unnecessary to write complete sentences when recording research.
  • Place the students into writing pairs. Provide each pair with an informative text writing task (there are six to choose from). Select the same task for all groups to work on or allow each group to select their own. 
  • Provide the students with a copy of the Informative Text Checklist - Structure, Language, and Features. Read through the checklist with the students. Encourage the students to refer to this checklist frequently during the writing process.

Guided/Independent Learning

  • Working in their writing pairs, the students must turn each bullet point from the fact file into a complete sentence, then use these sentences to write an informative text on the scaffold sheet provided. Encourage the students to use the categories from the fact file as subheadings within their informative text. Monitor and support the students during this process.
  • Teachers may wish to set a time limit for writing or allow them to take as much time as they need to complete the task. Ensure that the students know exactly how much time they have and provide regular reminders of how much time is remaining.

Wrapping Up

  • Check on how the students are progressing with their informative texts. Depending on the time limit set for writing, the students may need another lesson to complete their texts.


Extending Students

  • Allow more confident writers to work individually rather than in pairs.

Supporting Students

  • Allow students who find writing challenging to work with a teacher or teacher aide during the pair activity.

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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