File - Common Core History and Social Studies

Report
Informative/Explanatory
Writing
Overview of Common Core Standard and How to Get Started
August 2011
P. Browne
C. Deering
Informative/Explanatory
Writing
(1) What
(2) List
is it?
some examples:
(3) Explain
what it is not.
W2 CCR
Anchor Standard
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex
ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective
selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Essential Skills for
Informational Writing

W2.a Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and
information, using strategies such as definition, classification,
comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g.,
headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when
useful to aiding comprehension.

W2.b: Develop the topic with relevant facts, definition, concrete
details, quotations, or other information and examples.

W2.c: Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships
among ideas and concepts.

W2.d: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to
inform about or explain the topic.

W2.e: Establish and maintain a formal style.
W2.a - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and
convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection,
organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W2.a - Grade 6: Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using
strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include
formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to
aiding comprehension.

W2.a - Grade 7: Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas,
concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification,
comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g.,
charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

W2.a - Grade 8: Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas,
concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings)
graphics (e.g., charts, tables) and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension
Reference Slides
Slides 5 – 22, detail the essential skills for
informative writing (W2 a – b) for each grade level
These slides have been included in your packet for
your reference and to enable you to complete the
following informative writing activity.
Writing Assignment!
Analyze the Common Core for Informational Writing
Skills and Knowledge (W2 A through E) for your
grade level (pages 2 – 9 in the packet).
Using the essential skills and knowledge specific to your
grade level, respond to one of the following prompts:

Explain to a non-educator what teachers need to
accomplish to get ready for the first day of school
(please refrain from whining!).

Congratulations! You have just won a million dollars
(after taxes)! Explain how you will spend it. Oh, by
the way, you have only a week to do so.
SLIDE 27
Getting Started:
Instructional Process
Instructional Snapshot
Refer to the Informational / Explanatory
Writing handout
Basic Informational
Writing Questions

What?

How?

Why?
Getting Started –
Important Tasks for Students

Identify and understand the topic – “Do I know exactly what the
assignment is and what I am expected to do?”

Develop a thesis - “Which statement can I craft that clearly
expresses the central focus of my written response?”

Select and analyze relevant content - “Which textual information
would more effectively support my thesis?”

Convey ideas clearly and precisely – “Can the reader follow my
connections between the text and my thesis? Are my supporting
points clear?”

Determine the best organizational structure – “Which
organizational structure would be the most effective for developing
of my thesis? “
Examples of
Organizational Structure

Description

Cause/ Effect

Problem/ Solution

Definition

Classification

Chronological

Compare/Contrast
When responding to an assignment, look
for language in the assignment that might
suggest or identify an organizational
structure.
Sample Prompts
for Seminars

Imagine that you had no TV, computer, or video games for one week. Think of some
activities that you can do instead to keep you busy and out of trouble. Write an essay
to explain what you can do to keep occupied in a week of no TV, computer, or video
games.

Think of some things you learned outside of school. For example, you learn from pet
care, television, or grandparents. Explain what you learned.

If you could visit anywhere on Earth, where would it be and why would you want to
visit there? What things would you do there? Write a letter to the judges of a travel
agency contest for a free vacation trip.

Write the directions for "how to" do something.

Your class is having a party. You want other students to come to it. Write a sign
about the party.

Your class is making a classroom cookbook. Write a recipe for something you like to
eat at home to include in the book.
Graphic Organizers for
Informative/Explanatory Writing

Graphic organizers provide a visual tool to enable students in
putting their ideas together in an organized way through the writing
process, to:
 choose a topic
 research a topic
 organize ideas
 create an outline to guide their writing.
Some examples are included in the electronic resources.
Select a graphic organizer that supports the organizational
structure (e.g., Venn diagram for compare/contrast, etc.)
Menu: Types of Informative
Writing Assignments

Basic paragraph

Essay (definition,
descriptive,
cause/effect,
problem/solution,
etc.)





Report

Biography /
autobiography

Interview

Advertisement or
label (explaining a
product or service)
Diary entry, journal,
log, blog

Poster

Interview

Review/critique

Website

Documentary

Menu


Directions (recipe,
lab procedures,
technical
instructions,
directions for a
game, rules for a
sport, etc.)
Term paper
Brochure/pamphlet
Article (newspaper,
magazine,
encyclopedia, etc.)
Newscast
Assessment – MHMS Rubric
and Anchor Papers

Rubrics for informative/explanatory writing were created by
MHMS staff last spring; these rubrics were based on specific
grade level demands of the Common Core curriculum (separate
rubric for each grade level)

Anchor papers also were developed: Grade 6 (science); Grade 7
(Science) and Grade 8 (Social Studies)

Additional anchor papers may be found in the Common Core
Appendix.
An Effective
Informative/Explanatory
Writer:

Understands the task and develops a clear and precise thesis
which identifies the writer’s central purpose.

Critically reads the text and makes thoughtful decisions when
selecting textual evidence to support the thesis.

Examines the effectiveness of connections between selected
textual information and the thesis.

Organizes the information in a structure that ensures the reader
can effectively follow the writer’s development of ideas.
An Effective
Informative/Explanatory
Writer (cont.):

Provides a concluding statement or section that
• follows from, and supports, the information or explanation
presented.
• does more than restate or summarize.
Electronic Resources
Writing Fix – Interactive Writing Prompts:
http://writingfix.com/genres/informative.htm
http://www2.asd.wednet.edu/pioneer/barnard/wri/exp.htm
Purdue OWL - Crating a Thesis Statement:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/1/
Graphic Organizers for Informational Writing:
http://worksheetplace.com/index.php?function=DisplayCategory&showCategory
=Y&links=3&id=105&link1=43&link2=154&link3=105
http://www.greatsource.com/iwrite/students/s_expos.html
HCPSS Transition to the Common Core wiki –
http://transitiontocommoncore.hcpss.wikispaces.net/

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