Table of Contents

Unit 2: Planning Lessons for Informational and Argument Writing

Sample Lessons: Elementary

Grades K–2:

Kim Holsberry (Winters Joint Unified School District) decided to teach her students to do informative writing in the way Kindergartners do — collaboratively, with modeling and support from their teacher. They will focus on how children can be upstanders by choosing kindness and standing up to bullying and teasing. During their writing workshop time, the students will discuss and analyze the behaviors and characteristics of upstanders in a series of fiction and nonfiction read-alouds, and in observations of upstanders on the playground or in the classroom. Together they will write informative paragraphs that describe what problem the upstander faced, how the upstander solved the problem, and what effect the upstander’s actions had on others.

Kindergarten Lesson

Angie Balius (Garden Grove Unified School District) decided to focus her second graders on problem solution writing, which is a blend of informative and opinion writing. First, students will write problem solution letters to characters in books and stories they read as a class, offering suggestions for how they could solve their problems and making a case for the benefits of the solution they propose. The problem solution letters will blend all three CCSS writing text types, beginning by narrating an incident that illustrates the problem, presenting a solution and explaining how it works, and stating an opinion about the benefits of the proposed solution. As they propose solutions, the students are acting as upstanders.

Grade 2 Lesson

Grades 3–5:

Lorena Sanchez (Tracy Unified School District) teaches third grade bilingual students in a school with an ongoing anti-bullying program. Using texts and learning experiences from that program, students will write a sequence of opinion and informative pieces. First, they will write problem solution letters to those who have been bullied or were allies to those being bullied. Next, they will analyze what they have learned about being an ally or upstander and create action plans based on lessons learned. Then they will transfer their new learning to writing informative essays and developing PowerPoint presentations about a historical upstander (e.g., Ruby Bridges and Cesar Chavez).

Grade 3 (Bilingual) Lesson

Teresa Pitta (Merced City School District) is going to ask the fifth graders in her reading intervention class to write a report that blends informative writing and opinion writing. To build a base of knowledge from which to select an upstander to write about, they will read and discuss a variety of articles about public and historical upstanders, fictional pieces about bullying, and digital texts from online news sites about bullying and upstanders. Students then will write to inform their readers about their choice of an upstander, using an event from that person’s life to argue for that person as an upstander, and then explain how that person’s actions inspire them to be upstanding.

Grade 5 Lesson