Information-based Writing

With today’s shortened class periods due to our weekly advisement, today’s lesson focused mainly upon looking over yesterday’s Essay Scorer data and in the understanding and creation of infographics.

Overall, the students did well for their first foray into using Essay Scorer this year.  The class scores were 3.1 out of 4 for 3rd period (9 scorable essays), 3.1 out of 4 for 4th period (12 scorable essays), 3.1 out of 4 for 5th period (10 scorable essays), and 3.4 out of 4 for 6th period (5 scorable essays).  I showed the students the teacher summary page so that they could see their overall results and we discussed the breakdown of which domains were strongest and which were weakest.  Overall, all four classes were strong in conventions (grammar and punctuation) and word choice.

I then talked to the students about infographics and we discussed how they can be another way to share valuable information in an quick and easily-read manner.  The students then created their own infographics based on either the in-class student dictionaries or the 8th grade literature books.  Below is an example of an infographic I made through the website on the student dictionary.

Here is a sample infographic I made to show the students.
Here is a sample infographic I made to show the students.



  • Read for 30 minutes.


In-Class Art Gallery and Expository Writing Showcase

Upon returning from my last-minute mission yesterday, I brought a selection of 9 works of art for the students to view. The students first had to write down their thoughts and feelings while viewing Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies” for their warm up activity.  Thereafter, the students meandered around the back of the room in our classroom art gallery.  The other works of art that comprised the showcase, including Salvador Dali‘s “The Persistence of Memory,” are featured in the photo grid below.


The students walked around the part of the classroom made into a gallery and jotted down quick notes on what they observed about the pieces of art.  If time allowed, they then worked in pairs to create a brief newscast about either one of the works of art they preferred, all of the works of art, or about the entire art showcase.

In all classes we wrapped up today’s lesson with a showcase on expository writing.  Since it relates to only facts and is found throughout our lives, I showed examples of:

  • a to-do list
  • directions
  • a news article
  • essay types (description, cause and effect, problem and solution, and process/how-to)

I paid particular emphasis on the definition of expository (a.k.a. informational) writing as it informed the students of how this type of communication must be done assuming that the audience has little or no prior knowledge of the subject at hand.  This served as a segue into what the students will be doing during tomorrow’s Genius Hour.



  • The quiz over Lesson 8 of “Vocabulary from Classical Roots” Book C is tomorrow.  Here is a link to the review resources.
  • Tomorrow is another BYOD day in class for Genius Hour.  Any devices brought are the responsibility of the student who brings that device to class.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Study for tomorrow’s vocabulary quiz (see the reminder above for a link to the quizlet online flashcards)


Agent Investigates Disappearance with Student Help

At approximately 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, Agent Keen (often seen on NBC’s “The Blacklist”) arrived to the classroom of Ms. N. Williams in order to investigate her whereabouts.  It appears that while Ms. Williams was constructing her lesson on Expository and Informational Writing, some odd events occurred, resulting in her disappearance from class.  With the help of the ECMS campus officer and the students of Ms. Williams’ 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th period classes, Agent Keen was able to ascertain Ms. Williams’ whereabouts.

Below are some photos from the students’ processing of the scene:



  • Read for 30 minutes.


Monday, November 12th, 2012

This Monday, the students were introduced to our second unit.  With Expository Writing as the focus, I took the time to present the students with a “showcase” of examples of Expository Writing in the real world.  These examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel information
  • News articles
  • Owner’s Manuals/Instruction Manuals
  • Informational Text
  • Reports (such as):
    • Police reports
    • Experiment/Lab reports
    • Research Reports, etc.

After our showcase, the students completed a timed writing on any of the topics below:

oExplain why you admire a particular person.
oDescribe the major stressors in teens’ lives.
oExplain why you do (or do not) like to work in a team.
oExplain how music affects your life.
HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes, bring any library books that need to be returned back to school, and study for the Benchmark Exam.