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Teaching Informational Writing in 3rd Grade

Writing is not my favorite subject. And unfortunately, informational writing is a major ELA standard in 3rd grade. Now, at the end of the year, my entire class is worn out from testing and so ready for summer. But guess what... I still have to teach informational writing to these kids! Mix in some student behavior that is less than stellar and UGH! I just didn't know what to do!

But then I took the drastic measure of canceling my reading centers. That's right... I canceled them. No more centers!

So, what have these third graders been doing for an hour every day during our reading block? Learning how to research and write! Wow, that sounds boring. But check out some of their finished work and you tell me, does this look boring?

These are the students' self-published "Time For Kids" magazines. After using TFK in our guided reading groups for awhile, I decided to use them as a way to get the kids writing - informational writing, that is.

First, we brainstormed ideas for topics and created a "topic menu". They came up with things like the San Francisco earthquake, the Titanic, Pompeii, the New York Yankees, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Apollo Space Mission. They were all VERY excited to contribute to the menu.