Informative Writing: Teaching Tips

How Should I Teach Informative Writing?

  • Whole Group Instruction: Make copies of the reading passage and informative writing planner and prompt for each student (or assign the digital version). Model how to plan and write the informative essay, then have your students write it independently or with support. If you're looking for informative writing prompts with text evidence, I have a popular resource available here!
  • Small Group Instruction: Give different groups of students various informative writing prompts and work with them in small groups. This is a great way to differentiate your instruction!
  • Assessment: Assign a reading passage and an informative writing prompt to your students and have them complete it for a grade.
  • Early Finishers: When students finish their work early, reading passages and informative writing prompts are a great ELA activity.
  • ELA Rotations/Centers: If you have ELA rotations/centers in your classroom, have a rotation dedicated to writing and have students practice responding to reading passages.
  • ELA Test Prep: On many state assessments, students are required to read a passage (or more than one), then write an essay based on a prompt. You should provide ample opportunities for students to practice responding to what they have read.

How Can You Use Writing Prompts to Teach Your Whole Class?

  • I suggest teaching one informative writing prompt per week.
  • During the week, you can model how to effectively read/annotate the passage, plan the essay, and write it with your students, then have them write their own essays independently or collaboratively.
  • If you're looking for a free informative writing prompt, check out this one about monkeys!

What Are Some Other Tips for Teaching Informative Writing?

  • Use your projector to display the reading passage and your writing example to the students. You can open a blank document on your computer, display it on the board with your projector, then type or write part of an essay (such as the introduction paragraph) with the students’ input while they copy it on paper or in their notebooks.
  • Be sure to make copies of the reading passage, planner, and writing prompt for each student.
  • Then, students should independently or collaboratively write part of their own essay, such as the introduction paragraph.
  • Unless it is an assessment, assist students individually on their writing.
  • Sit at your teacher table and have the students come to you or walk around the classroom to provide support and enrichment.
  • Alternatively, assign the digital version and have students use their own devices to follow along. If you're looking for additional distance learning teaching tips, you may want to check out this blog post.