Information Writing – Generating Ideas through Table of Contents

As a 3rd grade teacher getting ready to start the Unit of Study for Teaching Information Writing, I’m inspired by Lucy Calkins and Colleen Cruz to write lots and lots and lots of Table of Contents. As a way to generate ideas for writing an Information book, I picked a topic I feel I am an expert on (BOOKS!) and started to write some possible Table of Contents.

Topic – BOOKS
1. Genres –
Fiction – realistic, fantasy, mystery, historical
Nonfiction – sports, animals, poetry, biographies
2. Kinds of Books –
picture book, novel, graphic novel, magazine, books on CD, online Tumblebooks, online e-book
3.Where to get books – bookstore, library, online, friends who share with me
4. Favorite Books for different ages of kids – toddler, kindergarten, 3rd grader, Middle Schooler
5. Where to find out about book ideas –
Twitter – Mr. Shu, Eric Carle Museum,
My Librarian, Mr. Re
Website – NYC Public Library 100 books to read
Author Website
My…this took time and I’ve only drafted five Table of Contents!?!?
Lucy, in her Information workshop at the October, 2015 Saturday Reunion said Graves told her to write 10-30 Table of Contents. I guess I should be happy I did five…I think I need to really stretch my brain to see a topic from LOTS of angles. Then maybe, with practice, I can grow this work. I got to start somewhere so glad I got five generated.

7 thoughts on “Information Writing – Generating Ideas through Table of Contents

  1. Ms. Victor says:

    Ooh, I definitely will be braver next year and move on to my own writing more as the models instead of cribbing from the text. It is my first year using the units and I am sticking quite close to the guides. I LOVE your tables of contents and the ways you organized your information. Somehow I forgot that you are teaching grade 3 as well- we should make sure our students collaborate somehow (and we should do more as teachers collaboratively too)


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