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Introduce: Informative Writing (Teaching Book)

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small group, large group, whole class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: Given a nonfiction text about an animal, students will be able to understand the text’s purpose and identify those elements which make it an informational text.

Materials: Board or chart paper, a nonfiction picture book about an animal

What to Do


Choose a nonfiction picture book about an animal.

Write a list of the elements of an informational text on the board or chart paper: labeled illustrations, photographs, charts, diagrams, maps, table of contents, headings, word bank, glossary.


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we will be talking about books that teach. Books can be written to entertain, which means that they are read for fun and enjoyment. They can also be written to inform or to teach something. Story books move through a sequence of events, but teaching books move through a list of ideas or facts.

2. Explain the elements of an informational text using the list of elements as a visual aid.

An informational text or teaching book is written to give information about a topic. Teaching books may have labeled illustrations or photographs, charts, diagrams, or maps. They often include a table of contents which lists the headings for each section. Key words are sometimes listed in a word bank or glossary.


3. Read the book you have chosen and ask students to point out the elements of an informational text as they appear.

4. Ask students to start brainstorming ideas for an animal teaching book.

Today we learned about the elements of an informational text or teaching book. Soon you will be writing your own teaching book about an animal. Please take a few minutes to brainstorm some ideas for animals that you would like to write about. Think about which elements you would include in your teaching book.

5. Encourage students to write the ideas that they generate in a notebook or journal.


For Advanced Students:

Ask these students to provide some additional elements of an informational text and explain why a writer would include them.

For Struggling Students:

These students may have difficulty distinguishing between a story book and a teaching book. Work with them in a small group to provide more examples and practice.

For ELL Students:

Provide these students with definitions for the elements of an informational text. These students may not be familiar with some of the academic vocabulary.

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