4 Things to Do When Teaching Informational Writing

4 Things to Do When Teaching Informational Writing

When teaching informational writing, It can be overwhelming to make sure you’re teaching each and every aspect, including how to use and embed quotes and why and how to use the present tense.

4 Things to Do When Teaching Informational Writing
informational writing

Teaching Informational Text: Break It Down

This is why breaking it down into manageable and teachable steps is imperative. If you’re overwhelmed with teaching all of it, your students will be overwhelmed with learning all of it.

Teaching informational writing is a multi-dimensional skill with many steps and opportunities for teaching, reteaching, and assessing. Here, I’d like to offer several things to focus on when teaching informational writing.

It’s important to note and to tell yourself (multiple times, if necessary), that you cannot address and teach every aspect of informational writing in one unit. Therefore,

Teaching Informational Text: Start Small

You want students to be able to not only understand how to write well but master it. The best way to do that, as you already know, is to start small and build on skills already mastered.

Identify the skills that will have the biggest overall impact on writing. 

I like to focus on organization and voice. If done well, they have a significant impact on how the reader (in most cases, the teacher) experiences that piece of writing.

Work on revision skills. 

I also like to teach students revision strategies that can be used for most types of writing. Including the Find function. Have students type “Ctrl” and “F” and search for words you want them to avoid, like “you” or “I”. This highlights each use and allows them to see where to revise.

Find a friend. 

I also encourage students to lean on each other for revision help. This can be done informally, or even as a station activity.

4 Things to Do When Teaching Informational Writing
peer editing station activity

Information Writing Teaching Resources

To help my own students become more strategic and strong writers, I decided to create a series of smaller activities and lessons and want to share them with other teachers as well! These products are perfect for 7-10th grades and require little to no prep– the best part!

Creating Strong Writers

Because students learn best when information and skills are chunked, or separated into smaller more manageable steps, this bundle of 4 digital Writing Spotlight mini-units will help students improve their writing one specific aspect at a time.

Teachers receive an editable and animated Google Slides presentation for direct instruction and a Google Doc filled with student resources and activities. The Google Slides presentations are interactive and include student examples to use as mentor texts. The Google Docs include resources for students to practice the skill as well as resources for students to use as a focus on improving their writing. The four mini-units consist of Writing About Quotes, Writing in Third Person, Writing in the Present Tense, and Embedding Quotes in Writing.

Each of these lessons can be purchased separately, but if you like to save money like I do, grab the entire bundle and save a few bucks!

Go for Digital!

If you’re looking for a little bit more flexibility with the resources above, check out the Writing Spotlight Bundle: Teaching Writing in the Secondary ELA Classroom! This bundle consists of both digital and print versions of the resources listed above, plus a bonus 3-Sentence Writing Prompt Graphic Organizer! So whatever your classroom structure looks like, this bundle has it all for you!

Looking for more? Check out these other teaching resources!
Digital Essay Writing Unit
Digital Personal Statement Writing Unit

4 Things to Do When Teaching Informational Writing



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