Before we begin this lesson, we review the previous lesson, Taking Note. In this lesson students learned a very simplistic way to take and organize notes after reading. It also gave students an opportunity to recount information in their own words. To begin I have students go back to their Interactive Writing Notebook to review the notes they've taken about their topic. I ask students to read over their notes and to be prepared to summarize what they are going to tell us in their writing about their product. I remind students to only look at the important information they gathered. Then I tell students that we are going to talk about how to put all of our information together.
I show students a graphic organizer that shows their writing flowing from an introduction, to a body, and finally to a conclusion. But before we begin using the graphic organizer I ask students to take a look at the online textbook I have up on my smart board. We begin to talk about the text features. We have been talking about text features in reading so students should be able to make a connection to how text structure is viewed by the author. We look at the sections, and the students also notice the captions, pictures, and diagrams. We don’t dig too deep into those features because we will come back to those in a future lesson. I draw students’ attention to the sections. I ask students to look at the sections and then we talk about the titles. I ask students to tell me what they think they will learn in each of the sections. Students tell me that the title usually tells us what that section is about. I tell students that we are going to organize our writing into sections but in this case we are not going to have section titles because we are not giving a lot of information about our topic this time. I draw students’ attention to the graphic organizer and ask students to tell me what our sections will be. Students recognize the introduction, the body, and the closing. I tell students we have already written a body in yesterday’s lesson. So we will go ahead and write our body in the appropriate place in our graphic organizer. I model a little of moving the paragraph into the graphic organizer.
Now students begin putting their body paragraph into their graphic organizer. I tell students to listen to the thoughts in their heads while they are writing the paragraph to make sure it sounds organized and all the sentences flow together. Since I have been writing along with my students, I tell them to take a look at my writing as it is a good example of making sure the sentences are organized and flow together. As students are writing, I circulate the room and work with several students as well as conference with some students who needed more guidance from the previous lesson Taking Note.
We talk about using the graphic organizer to help us determine the sections. I ask some students to tell me if they were to divide their body into sections, what could be the names of some of their sections about their topic. After students share, I tell them that the next time we work on informational writing, we will look at writing more information and adding more sections to our body.