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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Informational Texts

I am pleased to be a guest blogger at Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergartners today, and my topic is kids and research writing.

When I was growing up, kids didn't start research writing until high school. When I began teaching, kids didn't start research writing until middle school. Who's researching today? All kids---big and little! Even kindergartners can read and write informational texts.

How can little kids do this? I've published a free document, Animals! Animals! Animals!, to give you some ideas and show you how research writing provides natural opportunities for differentiation in your classroom.

Bigger kids need bigger projects. Students in Grades 4-6 are ready for note cards, outlines, and works cited. This Animal Research Packet is one example of how big kids can handle research writing.

Gathering and synthesizing information is a big part of our daily lives. It's now second nature for us to google a topic, scan the available websites, select the most applicable, skim a few pages, and go on our merry way. Whether we realize it or not, that's a lot of high-level reading and thinking used in a matter of minutes! Our students, who are growing up in the Digital Age, need to know how to find, sort, and present information. Let's get started on those research projects!

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