Presented by Gabriela Paardenkooper, Windham Middle School Jane Cook, EASTCONN In column one of the Non-fiction Writing Learning Log handout are six key phrases related to today’s topic of Non-fiction Writing. As you participate in today’s professional development session, think about how each of these key phrases is related to today’s topic. Also think about how each key phrase fits within the context of the work you do with students. Write an explanation of that connection beside the key phrase in column two and write the content area connections you are making as they occur to you. Look around the room. How many people raised their hands? Why do you think that is? Think about the following question for a minute or two and jot down your answer/s: What is Non-fiction Writing? Pair up with a partner and discuss your definition of non-fiction writing for 3 minutes. Be sure you each have a turn to talk. Share one insight from your discussion with another partner pair. “Non-fiction writing is the most widely read genre in the world.” (Kamil & Lane, 1997) “Elementary school children of both genders (not just boys) will choose to read nonfiction over stories nearly half the time, a finding that surprises many teachers.” (Kletzien & Szabo, 1998) “Studies have shown that academic achievement in a range of subjects and fields relies heavily on informational reading and writing.” (Duke, 2004) “With the exception of attendance, opportunities to develop skills and abilities in non-fiction writing is the ‘number-one factor’ associated with improved test scores.” (Reeves, 2002) Characteristics of Non-fiction Writing Is an umbrella genre for all types of non-fiction writing Is the most common type of writing in the world. Is not just the traditional 5 paragraph essay. Exposes, sets forth , describes, informs or explains. Reflect and Write Recount Writing Report Writing Explanatory Writing Procedural Writing Persuasive Writing Purpose: To retell past events; usually told in the order (sequence) in which they occurred Examples of Recount Writing: A School Trip A Science Experiment A Current Event Reflect and Write Purpose: To provide factual information about a topic Examples of Report Writing: An Individual Project (A sport, hobby, or animal) A Class Project (The 50 States, Natural Disasters) Reflect and Write Purpose: To explain how and why something happens or works; often combined with report or recount writing Examples of Explanatory Writing: Describe how the cotton gin works. Answer the question: What causes rust to develop? Explain the key factors that caused WWII. Reflect and Write Purpose: To instruct others how to carry out a process or procedure Examples of Procedural Writing: How to get to my house A favorite recipe How to make a model Rules for games A science experiment The steps in solving a Math problem Reflect and Write Purpose: To persuade others to a particular point of view, not necessarily one’s own Examples of Persuasive Writing: Create advertising posters Make up jingles Write speeches for a debate Write a book or movie review Write a “Letter to the Editor” Reflect and Write What other examples can you think of? Write one or more connections in your Non-fiction Writing Learning Log. Get together with your vertical team members and go to your regular vertical team meeting room. Paraprofessionals will meet in the Library Media Center with Gabriela and group as appropriate based on their students. Review the handout of resource materials. Discuss which forms of Non-fiction Writing fit best into your content area and with your students. In your vertical team or in a grade level subgroup of your vertical team, develop at least one Non-fiction Writing activity for each member of your team to incorporate into your curriculum within the next month. Hand in or e-mail a draft of all activities developed by your team to Jane Cook (email@example.com) at the end of the PD session today.
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