2nd Grade Informational Writing
See how to teach nonfiction writing through writers’ workshop in a second grade classroom using anchor charts and a few recommendations for different mentor texts.
2nd Grade Informational Writing
Second grade writing is amazing! As students develop from kindergarten and first grade, you see So. Much. Growth. When I taught second grade, I saw how much they were capable of and loved reading the wonderful stories they wrote. Our Writers Workshop 2nd Grade units provide print and teach lesson plans for daily writing instruction. Informational writing lesson unit plans are in unit 4. Check it out by clicking here, Writers Workshop Second Grade Unit 4.
Informational Text Writing Prompts or Topics
I often get asked about the types of writing prompts we suggest for informative writing. During writers workshop, I never give students a topic they will write on. Instead,during our informational writing unit, students explore ideas that interest them.
Research tells us that the best way to get students engaged in their own writing is by allowing them to select the topic they have the most energy to write on. So on a daily basis we ask students to be responsible for what they will write about.
But even second graders need help to get the ideas flowing! We can start those ideas in a few ways.
Nonfiction Mentor Texts for Informational Writing
Introduce students to nonfiction books to start informational writing. We provide a list of mentor texts that are mentioned throughout the writing unit so all the work is done for you! On day one, students start generating ideas lists, and let me tell you… they are experts on ALL sorts of things.
One thing I really like about the National Geographic readers is they not only have interesting facts about interesting animals, they are also filled with great examples of text features. These grade level texts are the perfect informative writing mentor texts.
Another way to help students gain ideas is through mini-lesson on where writers get ideas. Students brainstorm a list of topics they can write about. We practice this important skill with each form of writing regardless of the grade. Self-selection of a topic is important work.
Informational Writing Graphic Organizers
Often times when students begin to write informational texts, they have a hard time going beyond the topic sentence. Through mini-lessons, we introduce this graphic organizer to help students know if they have enough factual information on that specific topic to write on.
Sometimes students write on a subject where they are using their background knowledge other times research may have been involved. Regardless, we want to be sure we have a power topic to write on.
Informational Writing Anchor Charts
Expository writing is unique, so having a few anchor charts to support these young writers is important. Not only will students use the mentor texts we have read as a reference book for these informational text features, we will also provide a few visuals to help the students learn words such as comparisons, captions, maps, and cutaways. These academic vocabulary posters are part of the writing curriculum.
Informational Writing Rubrics and Assessments
As we launch a new writing unit, we ask students to select a writing goal. We create an anchor chart and as a whole group students place their name on where they want to focus their writing attention. As we move through the writing unit, students may wish to adjust their goals or I may ask the student to move on to a new writing focus if they have mastered their previous goal.
Coincidentally (no really… it is by design) the writing goals align with the writing rubric. We don’t want any surprises. At the end of the writing unit of study, the whole class is assessed with a final writing piece and the rubric is used again. This is a great way to see writing growth.
2nd Grade Informative Writing Example
Let’s take a look at this nonfiction book written by a second grade student in Colorado!
Throughout our units, we provide anchor charts to support student writing. One of the second grade standards is to know and use text features. What better way to understand this skill than to use it in our writing?
They are even adding captions! “A fox chasing a bird”.
You can see this young writer latched onto the comparison anchor chart and included it in this writing example.
Sweet little illustrations, too!
This second grade teacher added a couple of extra pages for a diagram and glossary. What a great idea!
During writers workshop, teachers should be conferring with students daily. If students are not with you, they are writing independently and should stay actively engaged throughout the entire writing time. If you’d like to know more about how I confer with students, click here! There is some kindergarten writing on the post!
One more thing! With all of the writing going on in your classroom, it can be difficult to keep it organized. I discovered the perfect solution for student writing. Click to learn more!
Informational Writing Unit Curriculum
If you would like to have the writing mini-lessons, anchor charts, rubrics and more, we have these informative writing units just for you! You can find these unit by clicking: