Category Archives: Explorations in Non-Fiction Writing
We are currently working on the “Informational” tab. The children and I have been working hard on collecting information through research about ladybugs! This book is wonderful because it not only comes with the teachers’ guide, but a Big Book of Mentor Texts, and CD and the bigger teachers’ manual.
The book suggests writing about crickets or some other insect. We chose to write about ladybugs because I had lots of books about them already. One of the first things we do is talk about features of great reports (title, lots of information, etc.). We then wrote on sticky notes to fill in our R.A.N. chart. We wrote down Things we Think We Knew about ladybugs in our research notebooks.
Next, we spent some time at our first research stations:
Here we are looking at books to gather important information about ladybugs. I modeled for a pretty good chunk of time what that looked like and how we just don’t copy words from the book. 🙂
We also observed some pictures to find out more information about ladybugs. These pictures did not have many words, so the children had to describe what they were seeing in the pictures to help them gather their information.
Our last research station was the Promethean Board. I pulled up the National Geographic kids site about ladybugs. The children tapped the arrows under the pictures to rotate through them as they collected information.
We will be rotating through these stations for at least 4 more days so that the children can collect information from each of the sources. We will then use that information to help us to write our larger class report. Once we have written our class report, the children will pick an insect of their own and use the same process to research their insect and write a report.
The day before Winter Break, one of our Literacy Specialists handed our Kindergarten team this book:
After looking through the first section on writing Informational texts, I knew this book would be perfect for our new IB unit on jobs, responsibilities, and community helpers. The children have been working hard this week to write about a community helper that they have chosen.
We began by talking about ways that we can find information about topics we would like to write about. Next, we moved on to writing down facts we thought we knew about our topic/community helper (we used firefighters as a whole class example) and learning about how to confirm those thoughts by using research materials (namely books). We’ve spent the last two days looking in books to confirm facts we think we know and will continue to do that the rest of this week.
Here are the children hard at work, selecting appropriate research materials and writing down some new facts about their community helper.
As we work through this unit of writing, I’ll keep you posted on our progress.