Stage 1- Desired Results
Transfer:
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
  1. Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts, and writing and speaking about them.
  2. Build a strong base of knowledge through context rich texts.
  3. Obtain, synthesize, and report findings clearly and effectively in response to task and purpose.
  4. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  5. Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence.
  6. Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  7. Come to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading, listening, and collaborations.
Standards:
  • W.3.2-Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly
  • W.3.4-With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
  • L.3.2-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.3.3-Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.3.4-Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 3 reading and context, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • L.3.6-Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.
  • W.3.5-With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.3.6-With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • W.3.7-Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8-Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.10-Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Essential Questions
Overarching:
  • Why do we write?
  • How do writers approach the craft of writing to inform and explain?

Topical:
  • How do authors select what to write about in their informational writing?
  • How do authors organize information to share?
  • What can I learn from studying other authors?
Big Ideas
Writing to Inform

Enduring Understandings
Overarching:
  • Writers write to inform and explain ideas.
  • There is a craft to writing effectively.

Topical:
  • Authors generate lists of ideas from their experiences, places, and things that they love.
  • I can study the work of authors to help learn the craft of writing.
Students will know…
  • The purpose of writing informative/explanatory texts.
  • Characteristics of informative/explanatory writing.
  • The organization of informative/explanatory writing
  • How the use of formative, illustrations, and multimedia can aid comprehension.
  • How to develop the topic using facts and definitions, concrete details, quotes and other information and examples related to the topic.
  • How to use words, phrases, and clauses to link ideas within and across categories of information.
  • How to use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform or explain about their topic.
  • How to conclude their writing or section.
  • How to expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener, interest and style.
  • How to improve their writing through word choice and sentence fluency.
  • The writing process for drafting, revising, and editing of a piece.
  • Their audience for the task.
  • The writing process for drafting, revising, and editing of a piece.

Vocabulary:
  • informative
  • explanatory
  • research
  • main idea
  • details
Students will be skilled at …
  • Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • Introducing a topic clearly, providing a general observation and focus, and group related information logically.
  • Including formatting(e.g.,headings),illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • Developing the topic with facts,definitions,concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • Linking ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses(e.g.,in contrast,especially).
  • Choosing precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • Providing a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented
  • Expanding,combining and reducing sentences for meaning, reader/listener, interest, and style.
  • Improving word choice and sentence fluency by crafting a variety of sentences by using simple and compound sentences, conjunctions appositives, and appositives
  • With guidance and support from peers and adults, developing and strengthening writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks: Students revise and edit one informative/explanatory writing based upon their research.

Formative: Students will write several seeds of informative/explanatory writing in their writer’s notebooks. Conference with students to support their application of the skills and strategies taught in the mini-lessons.

Summative: Students complete revising and editing checklist on their writing.

Student Self-Assessment: At the end of the unit, students will write a reflection piece on what they have learned about informative/explanatory writing. See suggestions for self-assessment at the end of the unit.
Stage 3- Learning Plan
The lessons in this unit are designed to immerse students in “expository” writing. In this unit of study, students will develop a question and research it to find the answer. Then students will write a single body paragraph with a main idea and supporting details related to the research question. Students then move on to write an introduction and conclusion. Students will revise and edit in order to get their pieces ready for publication.

This unit focuses on the topic of plants. See the research topics in science and social studies for third grade and adapt the content to meet current science and social studies content.

Celebration at the end of the publishing process is an important way to let students know we value their writing. It is something to look forward to and can motivate students to do their best work while publishing. Celebrations can be as simpleas sharing writing with a partner or as elaborate as an author’s tea with parents. Itis entirely up to you. Try different ways to celebrate at the end of each unit and have a marvelous time with your students as you write together through the year.

Lesson #1: Research: What is it?
Lesson #2: Questions are the Heart of Research
Lesson #3: Informative Writing Research
Lesson #4: Organizing our Research
Lesson #5: Paragraph Writing-Fleshing it out.
Lesson #6: Revising –Vocabulary
Lesson #7: Strong Verbs
Lesson #8: Introduction Paragraph, Setting the Scene
Lesson #9: Conclusion
Lesson #10: Editing: Using Tried and True
Lesson #11: Singular Possessive Nouns
Lesson #12: Publishing Options: PowerPoint Slide
Lesson #13: Reflection
Lesson #14: Read Aloud your Writing

Full Lessons:
Resources
Digital:
To incorporate the Common Core State Standards W.5.6 which describes the use of technology students could:
  • Take digital photographs of shared experiences.
  • Create a PowerPoint of writing with voice recordings.
  • Use story-making applications from iPads or other tablets.
  • Type final projects.
  • Share writing over school announcement system.
  • Have students project the written pieces using a document camera.