Students will plan and create an informative piece of writing involving a popular dog breed.
*Note: This is a multi-day lesson.
English Language Arts Common Core Standards
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Golden Retriever Fact Web Document (one per student): HERE
Access to a school library
Classroom Computer and Projector with Internet Access
AKC Golden Retriever Breed Website: HERE
Pre-Writing Graphic Organizer (one per student): HERE
Prior to the Lesson
- Students have been formerly introduced to writing informative/explanatory pieces.
Introduction and Teacher Modeling
- Ask students if they have a family dog at home, and if so, what breed. Have a brief classroom discussion about the different breeds students share.
- Talk about the Golden Retriever and how is a very popular breed of dog (#3 of 193). Visit the AKC Golden Retriever breed web page HERE and show students pictures of the dog.
- Hand out one Golden Retriever Fact Web Document to each student.
- Using the AKC Golden Retriever breed web page, assist students in writing down at least one fact for each topic on their Golden Retriever Fact Web. It may be necessary to write each fact on the board, so students can copy the information onto their document.
- Visit the school library to check out books about Golden Retrievers (or books about dog breeds). Students may have to share books. Instruct students to write down any additional facts on their webs that they find about Golden Retrievers while reading the books.
- Explain to students that they will be writing an informative piece to tell others all about Golden Retrievers. To inform others about a topic, a writer needs to present facts to the reader and get them interested in the topic. Now that they have all the facts that they need, they will create an outline in preparation to write.
- Hand out one Pre-Writing Graphic Organizer to each student.
- Review writing introductions and have students brainstorm different ways that they can “hook” the reader while introducing Golden Retrievers (ask a question, start with an interesting fact, use an onomatopoeia or an exclamation, etc.) Circulate and assist students as they work on this portion of their graphic organizers.
- Next, instruct students to choose 3 main topics from their Golden Retriever Fact Webs that they would like to focus on and explain to their reader in their writing, for example temperament, exercise, and history. They will write these down and include facts about each in their graphic organizers. Circulate and assist students during this portion.
- Finally, review how to write a good conclusion with students. Talk about concluding transitions and provide examples such as, “As you can see, there is so much to learn about Golden Retrievers!”
- Review writing expectations such as including a title, using capital letters when starting a sentence, indenting when starting a paragraph, being mindful of spelling and grammar errors, and including periods at the end of a sentence.
- Provide examples of transitions on the board (Next, First, Second, Finally, etc.).
- Instruct students to begin writing rough drafts of their informative pieces referencing their Pre-Writing Graphic Organizers. Circulate and assist students in finishing their rough drafts.
- When students have finished their rough drafts, collect and review each student’s writing, providing feedback and edit recommendations.
- Students will make revisions and neatly write their final drafts.
Review and Closing
- Allow students time to read their informative writing pieces to a partner or to the entire class. Display writing around the classroom.
“Golden Retriever.” (n.d.). American Kennel Club, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/golden-retriever/.