We all know 2nd grade students LOVE to share information! However, they often seem to find it harder to get information about a researched topic on paper. A GREAT way to introduce informational writing is through the use of mentor texts. An easy and effective format for this is to:
- Read an informational text aloud to the class.
- Write out facts on chart paper that were learned from the book (in students’ own words!)
- Have students write a report to share the most important information they learned from the text.
In this post we have informational mentor text ideas for you AND a fantastic resource with 2nd grade informational writing samples ready to print and display!
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Mentor Texts for Informational Writing
Below is a list of just some of the MANY great texts available. Hopefully a few of these engaging reads helps jumpstart the informational writing unit in your classroom!
When it comes to nonfiction, Gail Gibbons is an amazing resource! Not only does she research and write her science and social studies based books, she is the illustrator too! Her bright illustrations are kid friendly. Students love her books! Because of this, her books make a great informational writing kickoff! Click on the images below to view some student favorites!
In both of these books, Ms. Gibbons shares many facts students will find fascinating (or creepy). After sharing one (or both) of these informational read alouds, teachers can have students write out facts they learned about these creepy creatures.
Why not turn the fun topic of bats and spiders and creepy crawlies into a whole fun unit? Check out the following Lucky Little Learners resources to keep the writing going on this super fun topic!
Our October writing prompts pack and our Bats and Spiders Lapbook are the perfect companions for a unit on bats and spiders.
Kids LOVE National Geographic readers. The kid friendly text, as well as amazing photos are sure to captivate your young writers. (These books even include subject themed jokes!) With tons of books to choose from, there is a topic for each student to research! (After the shared read aloud and modeling of course!)
3- Who Were the Wright Brothers? (& other Who Was Books)
Part of informational writing in 2nd grade is biography writing. Learning about the brothers who pioneered the first airplane is sure to be engaging for students!
Another super engaging topic for students is storms and other weather events. These Scholastic books are written at a kid friendly level and include engaging photographs. Reading these is sure to prompt several discussions and story telling. Students will want to research these topics further!
These books are AH-MAZ-ING! They go along with a fiction Magic Tree House Chapter book and provide the facts of the tine period Jack & Annie visited. The book below coincides with Magic Tree House #2: Knights at Dawn. It would be so fun to read Knights at Dawn, and then follow it up with the Fact Checker. Next, write an informational report with students about the time period!
The Let’s Read & Find Out book series usually starts with a question, such as “how are mountains made”. Then, as they read students will find out facts and information about the topic. This book covers how mountains were formed and could make for a fun lesson on earth’s formation, volcanos and fossils!
If it seems like your students need more direct instruction on informational writing (and many other types of writing) then this might be the book for you! This book offers tools (tips & tricks) for students to gain informational writing confidence.
Student Writing Samples
Displaying samples of proficient writing is a great way to transition from hearing how authors share informational writing in mentor texts, to students becoming the authors themselves!
Take a look at how to use these student writing samples as a visual rubric to help struggling writers.
More Tips for 2nd Grade Writing Instruction
Hopefully these mentor texts and 2nd grade writing samples help get your informational writing unit off the ground! For some tips & tricks to teach other writing units, check out the following resources.