Writing an Informational Report: Prewriting

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SWBAT plan the writing of an informational report.

Big Idea

The prewriting step in the writing process is the most undervalued of all the steps!!

Reviewing a Report

15 minutes

Today is the big day!!  Today is the day that students will begin putting their research to use in writing their reports.  When having students complete large writing assignments, I like to have them move at a slower pace.  That isn't to say that I don't let the ones who "have" it move ahead, it's just that in order to keep everyone moving along together, I tightly control the writing process.

So, when students enter today, there are, of course, some students who are not done with their research.  For today only, I allow them to go back to the teacher's classroom they've been using to finish up.  

For the rest of the students, I quick review the parts of a report- Introduction, Body, Conclusion. It takes a while to pull out of them what each part's job is.  We also do a quick review of topic sentence and supporting details.  After this review, I hand out the graphic organizer they will use to plan out those parts of their report.

I explain how to complete each part and give some examples of topic sentences before I let the students fill in their own.


40 minutes

While the students are working to complete the prewriting graphic organizer, I meet with each one to discuss their progress.  I can't help shape their writing as this is a district assessment piece, but I can answer questions and provide clarification for the parts of a report or for topic sentences.  Meeting with each student takes all the class time we have, but I manage to get them all in.  

Meeting with all the students in this way helps to individualize their instruction for this project and gives them a chance for some one on one time with the teacher which is also important. Plus, it gives me the chance to see what each kiddo knows and doesn't know and also helps me keep the whole project on track.  

Wrap Up/ Check In

10 minutes

Near the end of class, I begin to regroup the students.  I know that not all of them are done with the graphic organizer, so I send that home for homework and I collect the completed ones. We end with a look ahead towards tomorrow- putting the rough draft together and then I send them on their way.