All About Our Town: Using Brochures to Teach Informational Writing

All communities have their own landmarks, symbols, and people that make them unique places to live. In this lesson, students explore their towns using a variety of print and nonprint resources. By looking at brochures and other informational tools, students learn about some of the purposes for which people read and write. They also practice writing for a specific audience, revising their writing, and working collaboratively to create a brochure for new students just moving into town. This lesson ties in well with social studies. It is an open ended activity that allows success for students at all levels. This lesson allows students to learn that people read and write for various reasons and learning about the purposes for which people read and write are two important-and often neglected-facets in children's literacy development.

 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.6
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3
Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.4
With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and...
GLE 0201.3.4
Revise first drafts for clearer meaning, correct capitalization, and punctuation.
GLE 0301.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes to different audiences.
GLE 0301.3.2
Write in various modes and genres, including narration, literary response, personal experience, and subject matter content.
GLE 0301.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
GLE 0401.1.1
Demonstrate knowledge of Standard English usage, mechanics, and spelling.
GLE 0401.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0401.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
GLE 0501.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to different audiences.
GLE 0501.3.2
Write in various modes and genres, including narration, literary response, personal expression, description, and imaginative.
SPI 0401.1.12
Select appropriate antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms within context.
SPI 0401.1.13
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0401.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0401.8.6
Identify and interpret similes and metaphors.
TSS.ELA.2.W.PDW.5
With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and strengthen writing as needed by revising and...
TSS.ELA.2.W.TTP.3
Write narratives recounting an event or short sequence of events.
TSS.ELA.3.W.PDW.4
With guidance and support, produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.3.W.PDW.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
TSS.ELA.3.W.TTP.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, such as descriptive details and clear event sequences.
TSS.ELA.4.FL.WC.4
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills when encoding words; write legibly.
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.6
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing, as well as to interact and collaborate...
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, such as descriptive details and clear event sequences.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • Learn about some of the different purposes of written communication by exploring a variety of informational resources about their town.
  • Practice different information-gathering techniques, from reading brochures and websites to conducting interviews.
  • Synthesize information by collecting facts about important and interesting places in town, choosing one place to write about, and then selecting the relevant information about that place to include in a paragraph.
  • Practice communicating information to a specific audience by writing and revising paragraphs about interesting places for the classroom brochure.
  • Learn about grammar and spelling by editing their own writing.
  • Develop collaborative skills by partnering with classmates to review and collect information and working as a class to create a brochure.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Students choose a place and make their own travel brochure.
  • Students can make a brochure for the new students coming up into their grade. (For example, third-grade students make a brochure for second-grade students).

Helpful Hints

Materials and Techonology:

  • Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson (Puffin, 1995) 
  • City of Numbers by Stephen T. Johnson (Puffin, 1998)
  • Chart paper
  • Travel and attraction brochures
  • A local phonebook and local maps
  • Disposable cameras
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Overhead projector

References

Contributors: