non fiction writing aka writing across the curriculum
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Developed by Jane Cook, EASTCONN Literacy & Technology Coach Some slides from Harness the Power of Non-Fiction Writing in All Classrooms Webinar developed by the Center for Leadership & Learning. Non-fiction Writing AKA Writing Across the Curriculum.

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non fiction writing aka writing across the curriculum

Developed by Jane Cook, EASTCONN Literacy & Technology Coach

Some slides from Harness the Power of Non-Fiction Writing in All Classrooms Webinar developed by the Center for Leadership & Learning

Non-fiction WritingAKA Writing Across the Curriculum

why do students need to write more

Approximately 80% of students taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress writing test have scored in the basic range for 30 years.

Business leaders overwhelmingly cite writing skills as critical to success in the workplace.

The public thinks writing skills are more important than ever.

Why Do Students Need toWrite More?
why do students need to write more1

Writing increases learning in all subjects.

  • Weaker adolescent writers are less likely than their more skilled classmates to:
    • use writing to support and extend learning in all subject areas.
    • attend college.
  • Half of students entering college are not ready for the writing demands there.
Why Do Students Need toWrite More?
why do students need to write more2

Adolescent literacy levels have been stagnant for over 10 years.

Literacy is the main factor in the dropout rate (7000 students per day the United States).

Without adequate writing skills, students are not equipped for further education or meaningful work.

Why Do Students Need toWrite More?
learning 24 7 study
Learning 24-7 Study

1500 classrooms observed

  • Students writing ___%


  • Evidence of higher-order thinking ___%


  • Less than half the class engaged ___%



It’s actually quite simple…

…students who write outperform their peers who do not write.

… “As time devoted to writing increases, scores increase.”

ocean view elementary norfolk va

Has used frequent nonfiction writing with collaborative scoring for over 5 years

In 2008, every 5th grade student was proficient or higher in the state’s standards for reading, writing, and science

Ocean View Elementary,Norfolk, VA
woodland elementary elkhart in

Analyzed available data

  • Increased the amount of writing-to-learn that students did
  • Many students had previously gotten zeroes on constructed-response test items
  • Test scores went up
    • Grade 3, from 57% to 64%
    • Grade 4, from 20% to 52%
  • Very few scores of zero
Woodland Elementary,Elkhart, IN
bartlett middle school savannah ga

School-wide writing prompt given in October

    • Data analyzed and most common problems/errors addressed through instructional strategies
  • Grade 8 writing test in December
    • Scores were up 21% over the previous year!
Bartlett Middle SchoolSavannah, GA
90 90 90 schools

90% poverty/90% minority/90% at proficient level

  • All the schools in the original study cited INCREASED NONFICTION WRITING with COLLABORATIVE SCORING as a necessary part of what they did to achieve success.
90/90/90 Schools
non fiction writing learning log

In column one of the Non-fiction Writing Learning Log handout are six key phrases related to today’s topic of Non-fiction Writing.

  • As you participate in today’s professional development session, think about how each of these key phrases is related to today’s topic. Also think about how each key phrase fits within the context of the work you do with students.
  • Write an explanation of that connection beside the key phrase in column two and write the content area connections you are making as they occur to you.
Non-fiction Writing Learning Log
think pair share what is non fiction writing

Think about the following question for a minute or two and jot down your answer/s:

    • What is Non-fiction Writing?
  • Pair up with a partner and discuss your definition of non-fiction writing for 3 minutes. Be sure you each have a turn to talk.
  • Share one insight from your discussion with another partner pair.
Think-Pair-ShareWhat is Non-fiction Writing?
why non fiction writing

“Non-fiction writing is the most widely read genre in the world.”

(Kamil & Lane, 1997)

“Elementary school children of both genders (not just boys) will choose to read nonfiction over stories nearly half the time, a finding that surprises many teachers.”

(Kletzien & Szabo, 1998)

Why Non-Fiction Writing?
why non fiction writing1

“Studies have shown that academic achievement in a range of subjects and fields relies heavily on informational reading and writing.”

(Duke, 2004)

“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)

Why Non-Fiction Writing?
non fiction writing is writing about things that are true or real

Characteristics of Non-fiction Writing

Non-fiction writing is writing about things that are true or real.

Non-fiction writing occurs in all content areas.

Non-fiction writing is writing to learn.

expository writing

Is an umbrella genre for all types of non-fiction writing

Is the most common type of writing in the world.

Is not just the traditional 5 paragraph essay.

Exposes, sets forth , describes, informs or explains.

Expository Writing…
five types of non fiction writing

Recount Writing

Report Writing

Explanatory Writing

Procedural Writing

Persuasive Writing

Five Types of Non-Fiction Writing
recount writing

Purpose: To retell past events; usually told in the order (sequence) in which they occurred

  • Examples of Recount Writing:
    • A School Trip
    • A Science Experiment
    • A Current Event
Recount Writing
report writing

Purpose: To provide factual information about a topic

  • Examples of Report Writing:
    • An Individual Project (A sport, hobby, or animal)
    • A Class Project (The 50 States, Natural Disasters)
Report Writing
explanatory writing

Purpose: To explain how and why something happens or works; often combined with report or recount writing

  • Examples of ExplanatoryWriting:
    • Describe how the cotton gin works.
    • Answer the question: What causes rust to develop?
    • Explain the key factors that caused WWII.
Explanatory Writing
procedural writing

Purpose: To instruct others how to carry out a process or procedure

  • Examples of Procedural Writing:
    • How to get to my house
    • A favorite recipe
    • How to make a model
    • Rules for games
    • A science experiment
    • The steps in solving a Math problem
Procedural Writing
persuasive writing

Purpose: To persuade others to a particular point of view, not necessarily one’s own

  • Examples of Persuasive Writing:
    • Create advertising posters
    • Make up jingles
    • Write speeches for a debate
    • Write a book or movie review
    • Write a “Letter to the Editor”
    • Create a book or movie trailer video
Persuasive Writing
reflect and write

What other examples can you think of?

Write one or more connections or questions in your Non-fiction Writing Learning Log.

Reflect and Write