November 10, 2021 | Chloe Ko
Fifth grade readers began this unit by learning the different types of text feature a nonfiction text might have. These text features help readers understand the information in a different and more engaging way. A few examples of text features include illustration, caption, title, diagram, label, and more. Then, the students created a nonfiction spread about the human brain, including some of the helpful text features.
Next, we read different articles like Chobani Ditches Plastic Cups and Good News: You Don’t Need to Rake your Leaves that cover current events and science. To find the main idea, readers were asked to think from a writer’s perspective– why did the author write this? What is the big idea that the author wanted me to understand? In small groups, we discussed the details of the articles that would best support the main idea.
As the final project, the fifth graders are writing an expository text: scientific lab report. The lab report consists of a hypothesis, procedure, observation, and conclusion of their STEAM experiment. Even when writing nonfiction text, students are learning to use “juicier” adjectives and descriptive words to describe what they saw, felt, and/or heard during their observations. When I had asked for adjectives to substitute for “bright” when describing colors, students suggested “vibrant”, “radiant”, and “intense”. To celebrate their work, writers will share their finished lab report and what they have learned from their experiments with their peers.