Monday, July 27, 2015

The Start of Informational Texts

This summer I had the opportunity to work with teachers in two different workshops.

One was a book study about Comprehension & Collaboration by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels.

The other was a workshop about using Informational Texts as a part of our daily instruction.

Of course, as I began to plan for these workshops, I realized how woefully unprepared I was to talk about informational texts. They were just not my ‘thing’. My interactions with informational texts have been limited to books about immigration (4th grade research) and polar animals (1st grade research). I realized that these texts were probably not going to cut it in a room full of educated individuals.

And then, I discovered The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming. This book was unbelievable! For the first time, I actually cared (and understood!) what was going on in history.  The family, time period, and country were coming alive through Fleming’s words. I had not experienced informational texts like this before. I knew I needed to search out other texts like this.

As I began searching at the library for great books, more and more texts kept popping out at me. I knew I needed to narrow my workshop focus if I was going to fit everything in three hours.
I defined my purpose for using informational texts in the classroom:
- When we read aloud informational texts to students we demonstrate that we value informational texts as much as narratives. We must be sure to read aloud or ‘bless’ a wide range of texts and genres.
- Informational texts inspire curiosity and wonder.
Informational texts can build background knowledge and give us more information about a topic we read in a narrative.
- Informational texts are fantastic mentor texts for writing.

Fortunately, a good friend and colleague captured many of the books I talked about here. I was so grateful to have someone capturing my ideas as I talked about them.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Great discoveries! I hope you shared your inspirational and insightful blog with your students and colleagues!! Hope you start writing and publishing your own books soon! Thanks for sharing! Keep it up!!