Monday, March 12, 2018

Best Books for Informational Writing in Kindergarten

Informational writing in kindergarten can be a lot of fun.  These are some of my favorite mentor texts to read to my students when teaching how to writing and all about writing.

What is Informational Writing?

I love teaching informational writing during our 3rd quarter.  Students have spent the majority of the year learning the basics of writing - how to put letters together to represent the sounds they are hearing, how to start with a capital and end with a period, how to use spaces between words...etc.

We spend so much of our first semester writing about ourselves.  We write tons of personal narratives and pattern books about things we eat, play, and like.  Informational writing is a good change of pace from all of the "about me" writing and the kids absolutely love it!

We focus on two types of informational writing in my kindergarten classroom - how-to writing and all about writing.

How-To Writing

How-To writing is when students are teaching their reader how to do something.  They are writing about how to brush their teeth, how to wash their hands, how to get dressed, or how to make a PB&J.  The students are telling you (using pictures and words) the steps needed to complete an activity.  I love this type of writing because the students become the teachers and really show you what they know.

All About Writing

All About Writing is non-fiction writing about a specific topic (usually animals in our classroom).  Students are writing as if they are the author of an informational book and telling you facts about a topic they know a lot about. They will tell you what animals can do, what they have, what they are, where they live, and what they eat.  Their pictures and words teach you information about a topic.  I love this type of writing because it is awesome to see what students are experts on - I had one student who knew all about electric eels!  I never would have known this about him if we hadn't done this writing unit.

Mentor Books for Informational Writing:

How-To Books:

How to Get a Girlfriend is one of our all time favorites.  This book is written by elementary students and has been published.  The kids think it is a hilarious book and really are inspired by seeing other students work published.

Tomatoes to Ketchup is another great story to teach procedural writing.  It allows students to see the steps involved in a process.

Bruno the Tailor is a great book to use when introducing transition words to your students.

How to Make Slime is a great how to book that will explain supplies needed and how to make slime following specific steps.  The kids love to follow these steps and see a how-to book work in real life!

How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth is a hilarious book that is enjoyed by all.  We talk about how it is important to write about something we have actually done after we finish reading this book.

All About Books:

Frogs is a great book to start off with.  I love all National Geographic books because they contain a lot of information that students can absorb and then write in their own words.

Snakes is another one from National Geographic.

Butterflies is another awesome book.  I love these because they include fabulous text features that students can recreate in their all about books.

Brown Bears has great information in it as well!

What are your favorite books to use when teaching informational writing?

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