chapter  Chapter 9
18 Pages

Plan and Teach One “Big” Informational Piece Per Semester

WithLori G. Wilfong

“Let me ask you a question”, Ms. G. said to me during a team meeting. “I do lab reports; are lab reports informational writing?” I considered her question but before I could speak, Mr. O’Connor, next to me, piped up: “Yes, but also, no.” We all looked at him. “Well, for sure students are writing up what happened during a lab in an informational way, but don’t you use kind of a question—response format?” Ms. G. nodded her head. “So, it isn’t connected text,” Mr. O’Connor went on. “It’s basically like comprehension questions. For a real piece of informational writing, it needs to be like an essay, right?” They all looked at me for confirmation. “Well, yes, but also no,” was my unhelpful response. “I think we want to help students work beyond a basic lab report to something a little meatier, maybe once a semester.”