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Get It Done! (Print eBook Bundle)

Writing and Analyzing Informational Texts to Make Things Happen

By Jeffrey D Wilhelm, Michael Smith, James Fredricksen

Summarizing, describing, defining, comparing, and contrasting, classifying, and more—Get It Done! will help you teach all these types of informational texts engagingly and effectively while explicitly connecting your work with state and national standards.

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Informational texts aren’t just for school

“Even if the CCSS are not adopted in your state, the theory and instruction we present is devoted to developing not only competence in literacy, but competence in life.” Jeffrey Wilhelm, Michael Smith, and James Fredricksen

Informational texts aren’t just for school. They are a real-world tool for making things happen. Similarly, the Common Core State Standards for writing are designed to help adolescents be prepared for the world outside the classroom.

That’s why Jeffrey Wilhelm, Michael Smith, and James Fredricksen wrote Get It Done! So that once kids leave school, they’ll have the skills, know-how, and agency to do work that matters by composing nonfiction texts—and so that their teachers have a clear-cut set of strategies for instruction in informational genres.

Naming and listing, summarizing, describing, defining, comparing and contrasting, classifying, identifying cause–effect relationships, exploring problem–solution situations—Get It Done! will both help you teach all these types of informational texts engagingly and effectively, while explicitly connecting your work to the Common Core State Standards.

Help your students Get It Done! “We think that through effective instruction, the goals of the CCSS and much more can be met,” write Wilhelm, Smith, and Fredricksen. “More important we want the work we and our students do to matter.”

(click any section below to continue reading)


I. Why Teach This Way? The Theory Behind the Practice

  1. Laying the Foundation
  2. Thinking About the Structures Behind Informational and Explanatory Texts
  3. Five Kinds of Knowledge: The Foundation of Understanding and Expertise
  4. Five Kinds of Composing: Making Informational Texts and Making Them Matter
  5. The Process and Practical Context of Inquiry

II. Into the Classroom: Lesson Ideas in the Context of Inquiry-Based Units

  1. Getting to the Point: The Process and Promise of Summary
  2. Getting Oriented and Directed: Description and Process Description/Explanation
  3. Divining and Defining: What’s the Big Definition?
  4. Comparing and Contrasting: But What’s the Difference?
  5. Classification: The Most Powerful Thought Pattern in the World?
  6. Problem–Solution and Cause–Effect: So What’s the Problem?

Coda—Bringing It All Together: Working Toward Opportunity and Possibility


Companion Resources

Get It Done! Study Guide


"Get It Done! is a treasure trove of helpful insights about why we need to care about the teaching of informational text, and it offers up strategies for not just teaching how to read and interpret these kinds of texts, but how to make them meaningful and useful to students."
—Kevin Hodgson, Middle Web
Read the entire reivew here