January 23, 2017
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by Sarah Sumnicht

Lesson plan

Creating an Informative Picture Book

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Students will be able to organize information with a web organizer as they make an informative picture book.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell students, "Today we are going to use what we’ve learned in science to make our very own informative books."
  • Explain: An informative book gives information to the reader. Usually informative writing helps the reader learn something new.
  • Tell them they'll be will be writing about... (recent science lesson or unit).
  • Explain that before beginning the writing process, students will build their books.
  • Hand out 11" x 17" paper to each student.
  • Demonstrate how to make a smush book (see resources for instructions) and guide or assist students as they each make their own smush book. This is an easy way to make a book with only one sheet of paper and no binding.
  • Instruct students to set their book aside.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain: When we write an informative book, we must first gather and organize our information.
  • Reread science text or excerpt if necessary.
  • On chart paper, create a web organizer with the topic in the center circle (e.g. Weather).
  • Ask students to tell you what facts or big ideas they recall about the topic. Try to brainstorm 10-12 big ideas.
  • As you call on students, draw lines out from the topic for each fact you add to the web. If a student gives a detail rather than a big idea, connect it with a line to the related big idea instead of to the topic. (e.g. Weather → Tools → Barometer)
(15 minutes)
  • Hand out the web organizer worksheet.
  • Tell students: You are going to use our class web organizer to complete your own web. Use the same topic, and choose five big ideas from our web that you would like to include in your book.
  • When students have written the topic and big ideas on their own webs, choose one big idea and model how to write it as a complete sentence (e.g. Scientists use tools, like barometers and thermometers, to measure different types of weather.)
  • Write the model sentence next to the big idea circle on the web organizer.
  • Instruct students to write a complete sentence for each of the big ideas on their own webs.
  • Circulate the room as students work and offer support as needed.
  • When students have finished their sentences, redirect attention to the web displayed on the chart paper.
  • Explain: Each of you chose the big ideas you were most interested in writing about. But we are all writing about the same topic. Our informational books will need a topic sentence so that our readers know what the book is about. The topic sentence introduces the main idea of the book (e.g. weather). In an informational book, it might even be a definition of the main topic.
  • Ask: Can anyone help me think about a topic sentence that we can use in our books?
  • Discuss possible topic sentences as a class and then write a version of the discussed sentences in the center circle of the web. (e.g. Weather is what happens outside when there are changes in the atmosphere.)
  • Explain: The topic sentence we came up with will the first page in our books.
  • Display your blank smush book and use it to model an informative book. (Write the topic on the cover as a title and write the topic sentence on the first page. Then, write your model sentence on the next page, but leave the remaining pages blank.)
  • Keep your model displayed as a sample.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct students to take out the smush book they made earlier.
  • Explain that they are now going to use their web organizers to create their own informative book. Tell them to make sure to include the title on the cover and topic sentence on the first page and write about one big idea on each of the following pages.
  • Remind students to draw a picture to go with the sentences on each page.
  • Circulate the room as students work, offering support as needed.

Support:

  • For students who need more scaffolding, allow them to reference the science text as needed and/or provide sentence frames for writing about big ideas (e.g. Some types of weather are____).

Enrichment:

  • For an extra challenge, have students write more complex sentences or multiple sentences on each page by including details about each big idea.
(5 minutes)
  • Check finished web organizer and/or informative book for understanding.
  • Use observations from guided and independent practice to identify students who will need additional support.
(5 minutes)
  • Group students into small groups of 3-4 students and have them read their books aloud to one another.

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