Informative/Explanatory writing is a often a overwhelming writing genre to tackle with 3rd graders. I decided to create a product that I could use to help my students break this task into manageable parts. Integrating Science seemed like a natural fit, so I geared this writing kit for researching our Solar System. Here's a look, as well as a link: Solar System Writing Kit
The contents of the product have the following pages, shown below. Each student will receive a cover, and one page for each of the planets and the sun. After researching all of the planets and sun, they will plan their report using the graphic organizer page, and then turn their planning into an actual report. Two styles of templates for the report are provided, both in color or black & white to suit your printing needs.
Along with the research and report writing, I have my students make a three dimensional project to go along with it. This is the culminating project that is completed at home. Here are some cute ones they came up with! This is absolutely one of the kids' favorite memories from 3rd grade.
I encourage you to give this a try! The kids will amaze you with their capabilities. They feel so "grown up" using the online encyclopedia, actually begging me to work on it! When they are given choice and time to write information they choose for a report, the quality and uniqueness of their writing is out of this world!
Go for it!