This winter we bravely faced the formal rules of Informational Writing (aka the essay). Using the Periodic Table of Elements, which have become an unexpected background song to our year, each child chose an element that caught their fancy, conducted research, and then wrote a formal Informative Piece. Yet I wanted them to experience a bit of style alongside the formula, and provided scaffolding (aka structure and guidance) through a teacher model essay, and then through a cloze (aka "fill in the blank") rough draft.
One of our students, the amazing and brave Lillianna, agreed to share her Informative Piece on the element Berylium, including her final draft, rough "cloze" draft, and outline. Thank you, Lillianna, for sharing your work! And thanks to the Oregon Writing Project at Southern Oregon University for teaching that all writing should be "writing from the heart," and even when we approach formal writing (using the three rhetorical modes of the National Writing Project, these are Informational Writing, Argumentative Writing, and Narrative Writing), we should never forget the most important reason to write: Writing is where we share our unique voice with the world.