Explain to students that informational text always includes accurate information or facts. When choosing a topic, it is essential that the student picks a topic that they know at least four facts about. Just because a topic sounds interesting (“robotics!”) doesn’t mean they will know enough facts to do a quick write.
Next, ask students to partner with a peer. Student A shares his four facts, while Student B listens and evaluates – “Is it a fact or opinion?” Some students like to stick the dots on their fingertips and hold them up to show their partner. The dots serve as a tactile, concrete way to emphasize the importance of facts for informative writing.
If Student B believes that one idea is not really a fact, encourage both students to expand on their thinking, justifying their opinions, and then ask partners to swap roles.
After this initial lesson, keep dots readily accessible in the classroom so that students may be motivated to write informative text more often.