Strategies to Teach Informative Writing

Cultivating strong K-12 writers

Writers need to move beyond restating collected facts and details. They have to synthesize ideas in order to demonstrate a deep understanding of a topic or text within expository writing. This engaging online course will reveal the essential instruction necessary to produce this type of informative writing.


  • Dissect the informative writing standard for the unique skills to be taught at each level.
  • Recognize the various genres that fall under the expository umbrella and how they can be integrated into a variety of content-area and ELA writing experiences throughout the year.
  • Receive dozens of mini-lesson ideas that target the essential skills in strong expository writing.
  • Learn which conventions are most relevant in expository writing.
  • Understand how to mirror the simulated research-writing tasks students face on standardized assessments.

When you complete this course, you will be able to...
  • Incorporate frequent research writing experiences into your curriculum.
  • Increase the speed at which students glean information from sources.
  • Navigate the internet more efficiently and support students to do the same.
  • Move students beyond predictable introductions and summary conclusions.
  • Execute a customized calendar of lessons to teach informative writing.

Top questions teachers ask about teaching writing units:

  • How many different types of writing should I plan to teach in a year?
  • There are so many writing skills I could teach; which ones are most important?
  • How do the 6 Traits fit into the different writing units?
  • Is argumentative writing really all that different from persuasive writing?
  • What is a "short research project" as stated in the writing standards?
  • How do you teach students to stop plagiarizing in expository writing and omit the words I and you in argumentative writing?
  • How can my writing instruction prepare students for the skills they need when writing about their reading on standardized assessments?
  • How can I incorporate informative and argumentative writing into my subject-area learning?
  • How do you wean students off dependence on the teacher to hand-hold them through the writing process/unit?

Kristina Smekens provides the answers to these questions and many more!


Your Instructor

Kristina Smekens
Kristina Smekens

A full-time literacy consultant, Kristina has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple— for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work. Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12.

You are welcome to contact Kristina directly: kristina@smekenseducation.com.



Contact Smekens Education toll free:

(888) 376-0448

What teachers say about this course
“As a K-6 literacy coach, I was provided with numerous ideas that can be applied at ALL the grade levels I work with.” Kelly Bachewicz, Literacy Coach, Bristol Bay Elementary School, Yorkville, IL
“This will change the way I teach!” Hollis Babbles, Middle School Humanities, Sacred Heart Schools, Chicago, IL
“Anyone who has students write research papers should attend this workshop. Teaching writing is not just the job of the English teacher.” Heidi Polizotto, World Language Department, Hobart High School, Hobart, IN
“Loved the lesson planner—great tool for practical implementation.” Justin Rentschler, Grade 7 SciTech, Dekalb Middle School, Waterloo, IN
“Very well presented, instantly applicable & usable with my students. The handouts & secret site are fabulous! The ‘vision’ for teaching writing is developmentally appropriate & so much more manageable than the traditional model of teaching one style of writing at a time.” Elizabeth Napier, ELL Teacher, K-6, Livonia Public Schools, Livonia, MI
“My weakest area is informative writing. This presentation has encouraged me to go back and inspire my students to be better at citing and researching. I learned so much about me as a teacher! Things I’ve forgotten about like SLOWING down, modeling more, only producing products over what we are teaching now!” Amy Swafford, Grade 7 English, Monrovia Middle School, Monrovia, IN

Class Curriculum

  Introduction to the course
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course can begin at any time.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrollment, students have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the course during this time.
Can I share my course with colleagues?
Sorry, course sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.
Can I get continuing education credits?
Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each course. A Certificate of Completion is provided to participants when they complete all aspects of the course.
Can I earn graduate credit?
Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who enroll in two eligible webAcademy courses simultaneously can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit for just $375. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, for details, (888) 376-0448.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.
webAcademy Inquiry

webAcademy questions? Let's connect!

Form View Counter

This course is not open for enrollment.