Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting our feet wet with Informational writing


     Do you ever just pull a book to read and midway through realize you have a whole new lesson, new focus that will last for days based on your kid's enthusiasm? This happened this week. I picked up the book, If You Lived Here Houses of the World. I had read a review of it on A Year of Reading so I knew it must be good. 
     We are starting a study of cultures so I thought it would be a great non fiction read aloud to start sparking discussion of cultures. Each double page spread has a type of house and text to describe where in the world the house can be found and what is is made of.  

Readers jot main ideas and key details - as we read we jotted down the important details about each house we wanted to remember

Readers sketch and add words to their sketches to build understanding - after jotting notes we realized our words couldn't capture the description. We needed sketches of these houses along with words to explain what we saw

Readers think about what they read - after saving important information about each house, we jotted down our thinking (inferences, why we would or wouldn't want to live in the house)

Readers read across texts to research - after reading about a few of these homes the kids wanted to learn more. We went online and first searched for more images on several types of homes and then read short articles on wikipedia about a few

Readers write to share their learning - partners took their notes and wrote about what they had learned. They added facts to inform and tried to add opinions, voice, and word choice to entertain

After trying this with a buddy students then got to choose their own type of house to research and write about independently. They read, jotted and are trying out a short informational writing piece.

Who knew this book would spark such enthusiasm! Hopefully it is gearing us up for a larger informational report.

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