Developing Informational Writing Skills Unit Plan – Grades 3 and 4

Unit Plan

Developing Informational Writing Skills Unit Plan – Grades 3 and 4

10 x Lessons | Suitable for Grades: 3 - 4

This writing unit addresses the informative text type; specifically how to write a well-structured informational text.

This unit plan consists of 10 lessons of approximately 60-minutes each.

The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons based on their class’s individual learning needs.

An independent writing task, which may couple as an assessment task, is included in the unit. The number of lessons required to complete this task may vary from class to class.

This unit of work addresses the broad textual focus of informational writing. Teachers are encouraged to select a specific informative text type to focus on throughout the unit, e.g., sequencing, description, compare and contrast. In addition to this, teachers may also wish to select a specific content focus for students to write about, e.g., animals, objects, people. The resources accompanying this unit provide choices for teachers in these three content areas.

 Overview

Objectives

  • To introduce the purpose of informational texts.
  • To identify the difference between a fact and an opinion.
  • To identify and explore the structure of informational texts.
  • To identify and explore the language features of an informational text.
  • To build a description of an animal, person, or object using facts.
  • To correctly write a paragraph for an informational text.
  • To use a fact file and scaffolding sheet to write an informative text in pairs.
  • To learn and apply proofreading and editing skills.
  • To take appropriate notes from an informative text.
  • To independently write an informative text using appropriate text structure, language, and features.

Preparing for Learning

Informational writing provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for meaningful ways to integrate your students’ writing with history, science, or math. Before starting the unit, choose a content focus for your informational writing that links with the learning taking place in one, or all, of these subject areas.

Develop an informational writing wall in the classroom before starting the unit. Display texts, word wall vocabulary, and posters to stimulate the students’ interest and assist in their learning. For examples of teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Informative Writing category on the Teach Starter website.

Expose the students to a variety of informational texts before and during the unit. Read and view factual texts such as nonfiction books, newspaper reports, and documentaries. Provide students with opportunities to read and respond to short informational texts.

Some of the resources that accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared before teaching. For this reason, we advise teachers to browse through all lessons before starting the unit.

 Lessons

60 minutes
Lesson 1

Face the Facts!

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

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60 minutes
Lesson 2

Fact or Opinion?

A 60-minute lesson in which students will identify the difference between a fact and an opinion.

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60 minutes
Lesson 3

Informational Texts - Text Structure

A 60-minute lesson in which students will identify and explore the structure of an informational text.

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60 minutes
Lesson 4

Informational Texts - Language Features

A 60-minute lesson in which students will identify and explore the language features found in informational texts.

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60 minutes
Lesson 5

Building a Description Using Facts

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

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60 minutes
Lesson 6

Writing an Informational Paragraph - Modeled Writing

A 60-minute lesson in which students will write an informative paragraph.

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60 minutes
Lesson 7

Using A Fact File - Shared Writing

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

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60 minutes
Lesson 8

Applying Proofreading and Editing Skills

A 60-minute lesson in which students will learn and apply proofreading and editing skills.

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60 minutes
Lesson 9

Research Skills - Note-Taking

A 60-minute lesson in which students will take appropriate notes from an informative text.

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60 minutes
Lesson 10

Using a Stimulus - Independent Writing

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

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  Common Core Curriculum alignment


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