Class begins today with vocabulary twenty quiz, testing words that were reviewed in this lesson.
This is the last vocabulary quiz of the year, and I have tried to be conscious of how to make the most out of it for my students, so that they can be successful (some of the sentence completions echo the sentences in the vocabulary review, two or three of the questions are definition rather than context based).
I am compelled to end this way because I have noticed a concerted effort this trimester from a few of my struggling students to improve their vocabulary quiz scores. What has been so gratifying is that their gains have largely been due to switching homework methods. As mentioned in several past lessons, my students are given a choice as to what vocabulary activity they do for homework, with the advice from me to select what works best for passing the vocabulary quizzes. Most gravitate towards making flashcards, automatically thinking this will be the most effective (not to mention easiest) way for them to study.
What a few of my students have found, however, is that creating original sentences helps them remember the words better, especially after working with the words in sentences as a whole group through our vocabulary reviews. As I type this, I can think of three specific students who have struggled with vocabulary all year, only to have discovered that switching homework methods and thereby studying methods has improved their performance.
I consider this a win-win. While it may have taken them awhile to get there, these are students who recognized that they have to own their learning, and that when something about how they learn is not working, then it's time to consider other options. This is a message I tend to slip in time and time again with my students, and it appears that it may just be sinking in with a few them!
Lets explore the importance of teaching informative/explanatory writing in the classroom. Students need to have the ability to clearly convey concepts and information in their writing. This skill is crucial for communication in future careers and life!
Download a FREE INFORMative Writing Poster Now!
THE PURPOSE OF INFORMATIVE/EXPLANATORY WRITING
The primary purpose of informative/explanatory writing is to increase knowledge. When writing an informative/explanatory text, the writer answers questions of why or how. Informative writing educates the reader by imparting straightforward information on a certain topic. Unlike other types of writing, informative writing does not aim to change the reader's thinking or move the reader to take action.
INFORMATIVE/EXPLANATORY WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
There are a number of ways for students to practice writing informative/explanatory texts. Some of my favorite informative writing assignments are:
- Basic Paragraph
Below are two very simple writing assignments you could assign students to work on their informative writing skills. In addition to looking at the ways your students write informative or explanatory texts, you will also have the chance to check that proper nouns are capitalized properly. What a great way to combine writing and grammar!
WRITING ASSIGNMENT IDEA #1
To assess how well your students write informative/explanatory texts, use calendar holidays as a writing topic. For instance, you might ask students to choose their favorite holiday and explain in writing why they like it the best.
To help students choose a holiday for an explanatory essay, you could provide them with a list. Some common holidays follow:
- New Year’s Eve
- Valentine's Day
- St. Patrick's Day
- Fourth of July
WRITING ASSIGNMENT IDEA #2
Want to be more creative? You can add a twist to the informative essay and provide your students with some lesser-known days of celebration. This would encourage students to do some research and inform their audience. Here are some possible calendar celebrations students could research and write about:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Opened in NYC (1872)
- Jackie Robinson Day
- World Fish Migration Day
- Earth Day
- National Plush Animal Day
- King Tut Day
- William Shakespeare's Birthday
- Transportation Week
- World Architecture Day
INFORMATIVE/EXPLANATORY WRITING FORMAT
Informative or explanatory writing follows an organized format. Using the anagram INFORM, teachers and students can easily remember the elements of an informative essay. Download a poster to remind your students about the parts of the INFORMative essay!
Narrative Writing in the Classroom
Persuasive Writing in the Classroom