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Lesson Plans
Read & Write About It
3rd–5th Grade

CCSS Writing
  • W.3.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.3.2a: Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • W.3.2b: Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • W.3.2d: Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

Materials Needed

Note: This lesson plan can be completed in more than one day.

Explain to students that authors of informative/explanatory texts write to convey specific facts or ideas about a person, topic or event.

State that you will read aloud an example of this type of writing using the Jackie Robinson passage. Have students read along with you. As a class, list the key pieces of information to determine the facts that the author wants the reader to know about the topic.

Explain that deconstructing a passage in this way helps them become better writers. This process will assist them in thinking about how to use a list of facts to create an interesting paragraph or passage about a given topic.


  1. Display the written passage about Jackie Robinson on the whiteboard, document camera or overhead projector. Read the passage aloud, and invite students to read along silently.
  2. Next, give each student a copy of the Jackie Robinson Fact Sheet graphic organizer.
  3. Have students look at the organizer, and ask, “If there is one fact about Jackie Robinson that you think people should know, what would it be?” (Reinforce their answers with a fact about Jackie Robinson, and have students decide whether to include it on their sheet.) Then ask, “What are some other facts you learned about him? What are some of his “firsts” that the author mentions?” Finally, ask, “Is there anything else that you read about Jackie Robinson in this passage that you found especially interesting?”
    Invite student volunteers to share responses as you fill in the graphic organizer together.
  4. Allow students to refer back to the passage to find details about Jackie Robinson’s life as well as interesting facts to highlight, and encourage them to discuss why these details and facts are important.
  5. Write a paragraph about Jackie Robinson as a class. Model the process of choosing a topic sentence, and emphasize that each sentence after the topic sentence must support the topic and provide details about it. Encourage them to use key details and quotes from the text. Use the last paragraph in the Jackie Robinson passage to model a strong conclusion.
  6. When you have written the paragraph together, have students read it aloud to make sure that it makes sense and that each sentence supports the topic sentence.

Guided Practice

  1. Divide the class into small groups of three or four students.
  2. Give each group a copy of one of the informative passages and graphic organizers. (Note: Depending on the size of your class, there may be more than one group working on the same passage/ graphic organizer.)
  3. Challenge students to read the passage and use information from the passage to fill in the graphic
  4. If time permits, have students use the information on the graphic organizer to write a paragraph about the topic, as instructed on the bottom of the page. Or have them complete this step as homework or as a follow-up lesson on another day.

Independent Practice

  1. Invite students to choose fact cards and writing assignment prompts for one of the following topics: “Scientists at Work,” “Natural U.S. Landmarks,” “The Olympic® Games” and “Going West.”
  2. Encourage students to select one of the writing assignment prompts.
  3. Challenge students to read the fact cards and work together to write an organized, well-written paragraph that conveys information about the topic.
  4. Have students read their paragraphs to the class to share what they have learned, and display the paragraphs on a bulletin board for others to read.

View the 3rd–5th grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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