8th Grade ELA

Below is the informational writing assignment.  Final assignments due November 17. There are also some opportunities for extra credit with this assignment. 

Informational Writing: What does it look like?

Author’s Purpose
Types of Writing
To inform:
I want my readers to learn something about a specific topic or I want to provide information to my readers about a topic that fascinates me.

*Choose 3*
  • Short reports of information on people, places or events.
  • Feature articles
  • Nonfiction picture books/ Comics
  • Interviews
  • How-to Articles
  • Recipes
  • Consumer Reports
  • Business/Science Reports
  • Articles on historical events or current events
To persuade:
I want to convince my readers to believe a certain way or change their minds on a topic.

*Choose 2*
  • Opinion articles
  • Argument or Criticism
  • Cartoons/Comics
  • Advertisements
  • Book/Movie Reviews
  • Restaurant/ Food Reviews
To entertain:
I want my readers to enjoy my writing and make them think.

*Choose 1*
  • Essay
  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Memoir

Extension Activities:

  1. Choose any three additional informational texts to include in your assignment
  2. Find a piece of informational text about your topic and review it. Provide a brief summary, decide if it does a good job of getting across the author’s purpose (whatever that may be), tell what you learned from the article and if you were informed, persuaded, or entertained (about 1 page).
  3. Select two pieces of informational text about your topic, summarize both of them and compare and contrast them. You may use a Venn Diagram or a written compare/contrast.
  4. Watch a documentary/series about your topic and provide a brief summary, description of what you learned, and if you would recommend others to watch it (about one page).
  5. Create an annotated bibliography for your topic. Annotated bibliographies provide a resource (website/book/article) and a brief summary of the resource as well as a couple of sentences evaluating the resource to explain if the resource is useful, reliable, and accurate.

Informational Writing Assignment Sheet and Due Date Schedule

Directions: For the next few weeks, we are going to be focusing on author’s purpose, sentence structure and sentence types, and informational writing.  Your job is to create a magazine/blog/website that incorporates several different types of informational writing with different purposes that all focus on ONE TOPIC. It is my suggestion that you choose a very broad idea such as fashion, country music, basketball, hunting, World War II… anything that you truly interested in! It would be good to choose something that you know a good amount about and have to do minimal research (3-5 sources).

Example: Main Topic-- Basketball
To Inform-- Interview with Michael Jordan, report on the LA Laker’s current season and challenges with players and injuries, how-to article on how to make the the best free throw shots.
To Persuade-- Advertisement for start of season, opinion article on current NBA commissioner
To Entertain-- Biography about Kobe Bryant

In the end, you will turn in (or share the link) your magazine/blog/website with the writing finished. You will also turn in a works cited page with any resources you use. Please no more than 3-5 resources. No wikipedia/about.com/ask.com/ yahoo answers, etc.


Come to class with main topic decided.

Research and writing time.

Research and writing time.

Research and writing time.

*By the end of class have at least 2 pieces of writing finished.*

Research and writing time.

Research and writing time.

*By the end of class have at least 4 (total) pieces of writing finished for Mrs. C to CHECK. *
No School

Work on writing at home.

No School

Work on writing at home.

Writing time.

*By the end of class have at least 6 assignments finished. *
Finish assignment at home.
Finish assignment at home.

Final Due Mon, November 17

5th period 8th grade will be starting an author study project. This project will be something that we work on throughout the entire year. 

Author Study Project 2014-2015
This year you are going to complete an independent author study project. I will give you some time in class for reading and working on projects as well as due dates for the projects, but mostly it will be up to you to time manage your reading and projects outside of class. Each quarter you will read a book and do an accompanying project.

Assignment sheets with specific directions and rubrics will be handed out at the start of each quarter.
Read first book
*Author study planning sheet

Class presentation on author.
Read second book

Compare and contrast essay.
Read third book

Tic Tac Toe
Read fourth book

Final project TBD
Project Due Dates
October 14
Presentations October 14-15
December 12
February 20
April 30
Presentations April 30- May 1

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