Using a Stimulus - Independent Writing

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

A 60-minute lesson in which students will independently write an informative text using appropriate text structure, language, and features.

Tuning In

  • Explain to the students that they are now going to plan and write an informative text independently.

Teacher Instruction

  • Select one of the 5 Informative Writing Stimulus Sheets that best suits the focus content of the unit, e.g., The Animal World. Project the stimulus on the board and read through it as a class. Explain to the students that they will be writing an informative text based on this stimulus.
  • Remind the students to apply their knowledge of informative text structure, language, and features when writing their text. Encourage the students to refer to their copy of the Informative Text Checklist - Structure, Language, and Features throughout the writing process.
  • Teachers may wish for students to formally plan or research the topic of the text before writing begins (depending on computer availability and internet access). If this is the case, provide the students with a copy of one of the Informative Texts - Scaffold Planning Sheets or the Note-Taking Graphic Organizer. Remind the students that they will be using bullet points for their notes and will be translating all information into their own words when writing their text.

Guided/Independent Learning

  • Monitor and support the students as they write their informative texts. Teachers may wish to set a time limit for writing, or they may allow the students 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

  • Once students have finishing writing their informative texts, encourage them to proofread and edit their work.
  • Teachers may wish to collect this piece of writing and use it to assess the students' understanding of the unit objectives. The Assessment Rubric - Informative Writing may be a helpful tool for teachers during this process.


Extending Students

  • Encourage strong writers to select a more challenging topic for the writing task.

Supporting Students

  • Support weaker writers through the planning process so they have a clear direction for writing.

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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