So, what is informative writing? At its simplest, any text that seeks to ‘inform’.
This includes a fabulous variety of things like:
- news articles
- sports reports
- science experiments
- even things like the description of how a fridge works!
In this wonderful digital era, texts are completely multimodal – they can be written, spoken, filmed, or any combination of these.
What’s important for students is for fun to be injected into informative writing lessons. Facts are one thing – but engaging facts, written in a powerful way? That’s something a reader wants. As students reach the upper years of schooling, informative writing becomes increasingly important. And in adult life, factual, informative writing is probably the type of writing we will use the most.
Learning should be dynamic!
How the Seven Steps can improve informative writing
The good news is that if you have already used the Seven Steps, so many of the techniques you are familiar with transfer to informative writing. If you’re new to the Seven Steps, these techniques are really simple to learn (and so much fun to be introduced to at a Seven Steps Workshop).
We make it simple for students by teaching the techniques in small manageable chunks, so students master each one before moving on. All kinds of informative texts can be improved using the Seven Steps techniques. For example:
Step 1: Plan for Success
To develop a science report, students need to brainstorm, research, gather information and find the most interesting or important facts to include in their writing. They then need to develop well-structured, logical and clear plans.
Step 2: Sizzling Starts
The introduction to an information report needs to give the reader a quick insight into the topic, but even more importantly it needs to make the reader want to read more. Which facts will your students use to do this? [ Try Step 2: Sizzling Starts]
Step 3: Tightening Tensions
Just like a Nat Geo documentary, a great informative text builds up momentum and reaches a high point just before the ending. Informative texts can be real nail biters!
Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue
Real words by real people are much stronger than simply stating facts. Effectively using eye-witness accounts or expert quotes can bring a news report to life!
Step 5: Show, Don’t Tell
Facts are important, but facts just tell. Strong writers engage their readers by making them see, feel and care about a topic. Describing the fear in an impala’s eyes moments before a lion pounces is far more engaging than simply stating ‘Impala are often prey for lions.’
Step 6: Ban the Boring
Ever seen a diamond in the rough? It’s a pretty boring stone. But after it has been cleaned and polished, it’s a wonder to behold. Teach your class about structural editing, expression editing and line editing and let your students’ writing shine!
Step 7: Ending with Impact
Reports shouldn’t fizzle out with the same old boring ‘in conclusion…’ They should leave your reader satisfied, inspired or ready to take action.
[DOWNLOAD – Informative Texts That Demonstrate The Seven Steps ]
Try a Seven Steps Online Informative Writing Activity!
Ending with Impact in Documentary Films
Using examples from the BBC Earth wildlife documentary, One Life, students look at how the trailer relates to the final images and words of the series. They’ll learn four different types of endings and practise their own documentary film outlines.
This Action Activity and set of informative Top Twenty Topics are best for upper primary/lower secondary.
Looking for more classroom resources?
This resource is just one of over 200 classroom resources available on Seven Steps Online.
The Seven Steps Informative Writing Manual and Seven Steps Online training and resources help you bring informative writing to life. In fact, the Informative Writing Manual is Shortlisted for a 2019 Educational Publishing Award!
Explore Seven Steps Informative Writing resources: https://www.sevenstepswriting.com/informative/