Lynx and Wolverine: Informational Paragraph Writing

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SWBAT create an informational paragraph.

Big Idea

Learn about some cool animals while teaching about writing.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The standard I am focusing on in this lesson is W.1.2, which has to do with writing an informational paragraph.  This is the first of two writing lessons based, and they build on the first reading we did on this text, in which we focused on text features.  This lesson we will be writing a paragraph about the topic the text teaches us about, and in the next lesson we will edit the work.  The standard for the editing is W.1.5.  Three lessons on a single text may feel like a lot, but I feel that students need a great deal of exposure to rich, interesting text to really understand the content and vocabulary in context.

Lesson Overview

I get National Geographic Kids at home, and I find that it has some great articles that I can use in my lessons. For this lesson, the students create an informational paragraph about a lynx in the guided practice based on an article that I found in the magazine. Then they create their own informational paragraph about the wolverine article I selected using on their peers' suggestions.

The students work in small groups and transition about every twenty minutes. I have a video on both strategies in the resources.

Introductory Activity

I like to use technology to engage the class, so I project the title page image on the powerpoint  on the board. It is a great discussion starter. So, I ask the students to discuss what text features they might use to present information about a lynx. While the class is discussing the issue, I asses their knowledge. Based on what I hear I adjust my instruction for the rest of the lesson. I may provide much more explanation of less depending on what they already know.

Then I share the lesson plan and we chant the lesson goal. I can write an informational paragraph.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Student Reflection

5 minutes


5 minutes

For the closing of the lesson I like to try to use some type of formative assessment to see what my students have learned. One of my favorites is the tweet board. It is the same as an exit ticket, but the students write two things they learned about creating an informational paragraph. I am expecting them to say, "I must have a topics sentence or details." or "There must be a closing sentence." Then I share and comment on what they write as they are putting it up on the tweet board, which is in the resources.  

Last, we chant the lesson goal to reiterate the focus of the lesson. This also helps my students with their speaking skills, because they have to say the goal in a complete sentence. I feel that ELL need a lot of practice speaking.