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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 3 with Trade Book Pack

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins

By third grade, many students are writing on full-sized notebook paper, allowing them to write longer and more fully. The first unit extends personal narrative writing, with a growing emphasis on drafting and revising. Unit 2 helps students synthesize and organize information for chapter books. In Unit 3, kids write persuasive pieces about meaningful causes. Children explore fiction-writing techniques by studying fairy tales in the final unit. 

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About the Grade 3 Units

The third-grade units of study take into account that many third-graders are writing on full sheets of notebook paper and in writers notebooks for the first time. The opening unit, Crafting True Stories, extends students’ work with personal narrative while engaging them more fully in the complete writing process, with increasing emphasis on drafting and revising their work. In the second unit, The Art of Information Writing, youngsters write chapter books that synthesize a wide variety of information and learn to section their topics into subtopics. They are supported in this challenging work because they are writing about topics on which they have firsthand, personal knowledge: dogs, soccer, gymnastics. Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials rallies third-graders to use their newfound abilities to gather and organize information to persuade people about causes the children believe matter: stopping bullying, recycling, saving dogs at the SPCA. The final unit in third grade, Once Upon a Time: Adapting and Writing Fairy Tales, uses familiar fairy tales to explore techniques of fiction writing such as writing in scenes, employing an omniscient narrator to orient readers, using story structure to create tension, and crafting figurative language to convey mood.

About the Series

Lucy Calkins and her colleagues have drawn on their work from more than three decades to develop a state-of-the-art curriculum in writing to:

  • help you teach opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
  • foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
  • develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
  • support greater independence and fluency
  • conduct strategic performance assessments to help monitor students’ progress and differentiate instruction
  • provide a ladder of exemplar texts that model writing progressions across grades.

Additional Resource Information

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