Mar 15, 2014

Expert Writing Projects

I'm featured this morning on the Who's Who and Who's New Blog! Here is the post that is featured!

We have been working on informational/expert writing this month. The kids are loving it. My basis for this writing is that the students write about something they already know a lot about (hence expert writing). The students aren't necessarily researching the topics they choose, they are just practicing informational writing about something they already know about. That way, they are focusing more on actually how to write information at this point and not necessarily worrying on researching. I did have a few kids that wanted to look up more about their topic and of course, I did not deny them that opportunity, but it wasn't. required. I told them they could read more to become an expert on their topic.

We started by creating a shared anchor chart with a list of possible topics that we are experts on. Then, each student created their own personal lists in their writing journals. After narrowing down a topic to start with, students started writing everything they knew about that topic. They saved the lists because the goal of this writing unit is to write multiple expert books.

We are lucky enough to have iPads in our classroom. We have one iPad per two students. I decided to publish the students' pieces by using Keynote on the iPads. This app is very easy for my students and is basically the same as PowerPoint. So, if you don't have iPads, but do have access to PowerPoint, that would be fun for the kids too! They love it!!

To get students ready for creating their Keynotes, I created slides on paper that they could fill in as their rough draft. Students picked which slides would go well in their projects, wrote their information, and created a small book. I didn't require them to write about an animal, but I noticed that a lot were, so I made many of the slides with titles to go along with their popular topics of animals.

Good news, here are the templates I used for them. FREE in my store!

After I conferenced with them to proofread and edit, they were able to start their Keynote. In the end, I was able to print their keynote as a PDF and make into little booklets.

My students love, love, love this and I definitely plan to do this unit every year now!

Here are some pictures to show you the steps we took and our finished, published projects on display! 


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