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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student uses genre characteristics and craft to compose multiple texts that are meaningful.

Instruct students to select an informational text from their writing portfolios and evaluate it to identify and explain the organizational pattern, controlling idea, and genre characteristics included in the composition. Students should also explain the reasons for including each of the above elements in their compositions. Provide a list of characteristics students will need to identify in their selected works. Allow students to present this analysis of their own writing via a slide presentation, an oral presentation, annotation of the composition, or a video response.

Further Explanation

This assessment requires students to analyze their own writing to identify the key features of informational texts. Through this activity, students will demonstrate an understanding of genre characteristics and elements of informational text and reflect on their decisions as writers.

the intentional and deliberate use of organizational patterns, text and graphic features, sentence structures, devices, and language to create an effective written work Author’s craft may vary by genre.
Students are expected to compose effective informational texts. Students should understand that an informational text explains and clarifies a topic. Student informational writing must have an explicitly stated or clearly implied controlling idea, or focus, supporting details, an introduction and a conclusion, and an effective organizational pattern.
the main point or message of a text that is supported by the author’s purpose and content
short, formal written work dealing with a single subject
the form, format, elements, and techniques typically used within a particular genre
a text that presents information in order to explain, clarify, and/or educate
in a speech or piece of writing, the premise or main idea that is supported by details and commentary


1. Bass, M. L., & Woo, D. G. (2008). Comprehension windows strategy: a comprehension strategy and prop for reading and writing informational text. The Reading Teacher, 61(7), 571+. Retrieved from

Summary: The focus of this research is on the use of Comprehension Windows Strategy, which is a prop in the form of a tent-like structure--a file folder with labeled flaps for categorizing information. The prop serves as both a brainstorming and organizing tool, enabling students to manipulate informational "chunks" of text.  Teachers model the prop with at least three sources of informational text and think-alouds. After using the prop for reading, the students transition into a the writing process in order to compose their own informational writing projects.

2. White. A. (2016). Using digital think-alouds to build comprehension of online informational texts. The Reading Teacher, 69(4), 421–425. doi:10.1002/trtr.1438

Summary: This article targets the ongoing consumption and creation of information online and in other digital spaces. White suggests that the ever-changing contexts presents significant complexities for students. Students are required to develop skills, strategies and attitudes that promote and support ways to critically navigate and discuss information accessed online.