The Informational Writing Toolkit: Using Mentor Texts in Grades 3-5, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Informational Writing Toolkit

Using Mentor Texts in Grades 3-5, 1st Edition

By Sean Ruday


148 pages

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pub: 2014-12-11
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In order for students to write effective informational texts, they need to read good informational texts! In this practical book, you’ll find out how to use high-quality books and articles to make writing instruction more meaningful, authentic, and successful. The author demonstrates how you can help students analyze the qualities of effective informational texts and then help students think of those qualities as tools to improve their own writing. The book is filled with examples and templates you can bring back to the classroom immediately.

Special Features:

  • Offers clear suggestions for meeting the Common Core informational writing standards
  • Covers all aspects of informational writing, including introducing and developing a topic; grouping related information together; adding features that aid comprehension; linking ideas; and using precise language and domain-specific vocabulary
  • Includes a variety of assessment strategies and rubrics
  • Provides classroom snapshots to show the writing tools in action
  • Comes with a variety of templates and tools that can be photocopied or downloaded and printed from our website,

Bonus! The book includes an annotated bibliography—a comprehensive list of recommended informational texts, with suggestions for how to use them.


I think that all teachers who are teaching their students to read and write informational text (that would be ALL teachers) should purchase this book. There are many appealing features, including the consistency of the format; the fact that each chapter can be used in conjunction with another or independently, depending on the class' needs; the mentor texts; and the graphic organizers.

-- Jacqueline Tostado, Literacy Coach, Chicago, IL

The practical examples, "Classroom Snapshots," are very appealing in helping the reader visualize the strategies in action. The step by step instructional recommendations make the information easy to access and implement. As an instructional coach, I will use this book guide teachers in enhancing their writing instruction to align with Common Core. I only wish this book had been available when I was teaching fifth grade writing!

--Karina Nevers, Learning Strategist, Las Vegas, NV

Table of Contents


Section One: Informational Writing Strategies Aligned with the Common Core Standards for Grades 3-5

Chapter 1 Introducing a Topic. Chapter 2 Grouping Related Information Together. Chapter 3 Adding Features that Aid Comprehension. Chapter 4 Developing a Topic. Chapter 5 Linking Ideas . Chapter 6 Using Precise Language and Domain-Specific Vocabulary

Section Two: Putting It Together

Chapter 7 Crafting a Concluding Section. Chapter 8 Assessment Strategies. Chapter 9 Final Thoughts and Tips for Classroom Practice

Section Three: Resources

About the Author


Sean Ruday

Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Learn more about Sean Ruday >>

Sean Ruday is an assistant professor of English Education at Longwood University and a former classroom teacher. He frequently writes and presents on innovative ways to improve students' literacy learning.

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