Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade
Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 3
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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 3

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Marjorie Martinelli, M. Colleen Cruz, Kelly Boland Hohne, Shana Frazin, Maggie Beattie Roberts

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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Full Description

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.

Purchase Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Grade 3 Units of Study with Trade Book Pack if your library does not already include the 3 mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Grade 3 Units of Study without Trade Book Pack (as shown here).

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs:

With trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5

Without trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5 / Grade 6 / Grade 7 / Grade 8

To learn more about the Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing series, visit UnitsofStudy.com

Components

Four Units of Study

  • organized around the three types of writing mandated by the Common Core: opinion, information, and narrative writing
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Writing Workshop, Intermediate Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction (The Guide, now available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about writing workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions

  • organized around a grades K-5 learning progression across opinion/argument, information, and narrative writing
  • includes performance assessments, student checklists, rubrics, and leveled writing exemplars
  • also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

  • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

Online Resources

  • Video Orientations
  • Spanish translations of important student and teacher resources—includes Spanish translations of writing samples to use with Writing Pathways, student checklists, Anchor Chart Sticky Notes, and numerous other classroom materials such as daily charts and folders. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts
  • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
  • Digital files for resources provided in Writing Pathways, including Writing Progressions, On-Demand Writing Prompts, Rubrics, and Student Writing Samples 

Samples

Companion Resources

Mentor Texts for Teachers:

The Grade 3 Trade Pack includes three age-appropriate trade books that are used in the units to model effective writing techniques, encourage students to read as writers, and provide background knowledge.

  • Come on Rain! by Karen Hesse
  • Deadliest Animals by Melissa Stewart
  • Prince Cinders by Babette Cole

Independent Reading for Students:

The following TCRWP Classroom Libraries shelf was curated to specifically align with the Third Grade Units of Study.

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions (included with each grade-level bundle) is also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

 

Supporting Materials