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Experience Nonfiction Writing. Cindy Matthews. Why focus on non-fiction writing?. ‘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.’

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Experience Nonfiction Writing

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Experience Nonfiction Writing

Cindy Matthews


Why focus on non-fiction writing?

‘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 in LNS monograph, March 2008)


Impact of a whole-school focus on non-fiction writing

  • improves achievement in ALL subjects

  • improves performance on writing tests, extended response items & multiple choice tests

  • engages students in higher level thinking, reasoning and analysis

Reeves, p. 84


Writing is Thinking Made Visible

clarifying

inventing

justifying

refining

proposing

recalling

summarizing

inquiring

deciding

solving

elaborating

considering

persuading

arguing

sequencing

investigating

planning

reflecting

challenging

proving

revising (adding, changing, deleting)


Nonfiction Writing forms

In small groups, use the “blocks” to cue your thinking, and generate a list of forms of nonfiction writing.


Example:

A-B

-announcement

-apology

-brochure

-biography


Non-Fiction Writing Forms

  • Personal/Recount

  • Procedural/Sequential

  • Descriptive

  • Informational/Report

  • Persuasive/Expository

  • Comparative/Explanation


Authentic and effective writing has a

clear purpose, and there are many

purposes for writing.

Non-fiction writing delivers its purpose

through many text forms.


Purpose

Audience

Writing

Form

Medium


Purpose:

Explain the experiment for

others to follow the instructions.

Audience:

other students of your grade,

the teacher

Writing

Form:

Procedure

Medium:

poster or

written page


Purpose:

Argue the benefits of

daily exercise.

Audience:

your peers,

particularly those who

don’t exercise

Writing

Form:

Persuasive

Exposition

Medium:

magazine article


Purpose:

Tell about our school’s

experience watching the

inauguration speech

together.

Audience:

your parents,

Writing

Form:

Recount

Medium:

letter


Creating opportunities for Nonfiction writing in the library

What activities in the library could provide opportunities for students to apply their non-fiction writing skills?


Keyword Development: Word Frames

Write a word

in the centre.

Definition

Opposite

(&cross it out!)

Picture

Silly sentence

(to remember it!)


Opinion Development: Put Yourself on the Line


Opinion Development: 4 Corners

Humans are the most important species on earth.

Our rights are the most important.


The government is considering selling a

portion of Algonquin Park to a lumber

company. The lumber company is planning to

clear cut the area. David Suzuki has hired

your environmental firm to produce a

presentation arguing against their plan.

(Gr. 4 Habitats / Gr. 7 Ecosystems)


Placemat


Supporting Nonfiction Writing


Critical Literacy


Five Core Concepts

  • 1. All media messages are constructed.

  • 2. Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

  • 3. Different people experience the same messages differently.

  • 4. Media have embedded values and points of view.

  • 5. Media messages are constructed to gain profit and/or power.


Five Key Questions

1. Who created this message?

2. What techniques are used to attract my attention?

3. How might different people understand this message differently from me?

4. What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in or omitted from this message?

5. Why was this message sent? (Source: Center for Media Literacy (CML))


Media Literacy


Visual Literacy

  • T -chart

  • web

  • series/time line

  • Venn

  • tree chart

  • mind map- flow chart

  • fishbone


Explicit Teaching for Writing Independence


from Flickr Creative Commons


from Flickr Creative Commons


Research Literacy


Reading

Confidence

Perseverance

Small motor skills

Writing

Literacy

Research

Self Reflection

Affective

Hand eye coordination

Physical

How to Learn

Technological

Metacognitive

Communication

Thinking

Synthesis

Searching

Analysis

Making Connections

The Complexity of Research


Article Reading


Composition: So You Think You Can Write!

thesis /opening position

arguments

facts / logic

research

reiterate

position


Report Writing using digital images

Comic Life

plasq.com


Report Writing using Blogs


Making Feedback Visible

There

Here


Making Feedback Visible: Science Report

Here

There


Making Feedback Visible: Science Report

Here

There


Maria Carty, Pembroke, 2007


MOE resources


MOE resources


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