What Do You Think?

Student Writing Sample: 4th Grade - Informative Report

The Task

Students were engaged in a feature article genre unit of study. They selected a topic of their choice and then wrote their own feature article.

What the work shows

The student provides information on the breeding of white tigers in captivity and questions whether this practice--motivated by the commercial value of white tigers --is justifiable, since it creates health problems for the tigers.

Strengths of this student’s writing

  • The opening sentence engages the reader with a question.
  • The student’s controlling idea:, that zoos breed white tigers for the wrong reasons, is well developed.
  • The student remains focused on the topic, including only relevant details.
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the basic rules of the English language, despite a succession of errors in the final paragraph-a fragment, a missing period, a misspelled word, and a run-on sentence.

Teachers will

  • Establish a daily one-hour Writer’s Workshop.
  • Create a classroom environment that supports Writer’s Workshop.
  • Provide opportunities for responding to literature within the Writer’s Workshop.
  • Develop mini-lessons for Writer’s Workshop that focus on Language Use and Conventions.
  • Establish a 30- minute daily Language Skills Block.
  • Plan and implement units of study in a variety of genres throughout the year.
  • Develop lessons on research skills, such as using reference materials, notetaking, and recording information.
  • Create an on-going class editing checklist for spelling, conventions, grammar, and punctuation with the students. Add to this chart as new skills are taught throughout the year.