Thinking about Informational Writing

The innovators over at Two Writing Teachers Blog got me thinking about how we approach Informational Writing.  We often begin with thinking about images that would tell the story or explain our idea, but if we think about other text features, they can be just as impactful as we approach Informational Writing.  They asked 4 questions to guide our thinking as our writers study models of INformational Text to learn more about how it is written.  How often do we forget to study the text before we begin talking about the characteristics of the text?  

Here are the 4 questions:

  • What information is the author using this text feature to convey?
  • Based on the text features, is there an idea that the author wants me to understand about the information?
  • How does the author use the text features to convey information?
  • How could I try something like this in my own writing?

The last question is my favorite.  If the author used a call out box, or bolded a word, it would be quite easy for a child to “Try that” in their own writing.  I believe that it would lessen their anxiety in “getting it right” and encourage them to try something new and innovative in their own writing.  I am feeling excited to try this idea with students.  Do you think these guiding questions would support the writers in your classroom?