Informational Text

Connect with the Facts

Recap: What's an informational text?

Informational texts are written to inform, explain, or persuade readers.


Example Texts:


- Does Lightning Strike the Same Place Twice?

- Bounce House Danger: The dangers of bouncy houses

- Gardening for Dummies: Steps to create a friendly garden at home!

- 7 Steps to a Spider Free Home!

- Artificial or Natural Christmas Trees?


Each Informational text is organized how the author wants it, and is organized to make sense and send a message or information to the reader.

Features of Informational Text

Informational texts are going to look much different than literary texts!


Some features include:


Photographs

Diagrams

Charts

Titles

Subtitles

Captions

Organizational Patterns

Often Informational texts are organized into formats, or patterns.


Some patterns include:


- Compare and Contrast

- Cause and Effect

- Problem and Solution

- Listing/ Sequencing

- Description

Organizational Patterns

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Current Issue: Texting While Driving

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Texting While Driving Essay

The essay was featured on Traverse City Record-Eagle’s website and was written by Traverse City West Senior High School junior Kelly Brown:


A beep signals from your phone. You go to grab it and take a look and see your friend would like to know where you want to go tonight. It only takes a minute for you to open your phone and respond to the text, but it also only takes a minute for your life to be over.


Hundreds of teenagers and adults across the nation reach for their phones and decide to text while driving. They are making the decision that at that moment a text message is more important than their lives.


The risks of texting while driving are rising, and your life is on the line. Texting while driving is a distraction and not only is your life on the line, but so is someone else’s. The risks of taking your eyes from the road for a split second are dangerous. Due to the many dangers that tag along with a driver’s license, insurance companies and car companies are trying to figure out ways to stop this problem. When the privilege of a license is placed into the hands of a teenager, so is the responsibility of life.


The definition of freedom is the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Every teenager experiences freedom when the gift of driver’s license is place into his or her hands. Freedom is the feeling of being able to go where you please, not being held back, and being on your own for once.


With this freedom comes the responsibility of knowing that you are in charge of your life, and the decisions you make will decide the outcome of it. Imagine, friends in the car, cell phone in hand and you take off on a trip. Think of the distractions in your car at that moment.


You have to keep your mind on the road but that cute boy or girl from class is texting you and you’re so eager to text back. You quickly grab your phone and send a simple reply back. Thumbs punching away, you take your eyes off the road for a split second, look back up and a car is spinning out of control heading towards your car.


Now your friends and you are in the hospital with serious injuries.

Some 46 percent of drivers ages 16 to 17 admit to texting while driving. Not only is texting while driving dangerous, but it is also costly. You may have to pay to get your car fixed, towing fees, hospital fees, insurance and a fine for texting while driving.


On the other hand, I can see why many teens think driving and texting is not unsafe. There is no real way to tell if a death is the result of a teen texting and driving because the phone is shattered during the crash.

Pick the Best Summary for the Essay above:

A.

Texting while driving is becoming more serious. Some 46 percent of drivers ages 16 to 17 admit to texting while driving. Not only is texting while driving dangerous, but costly. If you get into a wreck it can be very expensive. You may have to pay many fees and costs to get your car fixed. However, some people believe that texting while driving is not a big deal.

B.

Texting while driving is a serious issue. The risks of texting while driving are rising. In a society where everyone values freedom, the freedom to drive comes with great responsibility. There are multiple distractions that can ruin that freedom. High numbers of drivers admit to texting while driving, and need to consider non-dangerous alternatives. The choice to text and drive could be very costly.

C.

Texting while driving is an issue. Many teens think driving and texting is not unsafe. There is no real way to tell if death is the result of a teen texting and driving because the phone is shattered during the crash. It only takes a minute for you to open your phone and respond to the text, but it also only takes a minute for your life to be over.

D.

The definition of freedom is the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Every teenager wants freedom, and is given freedom when they get a license. This license allows them to make decisions, which can cost them and others their lives. Teens could make the choice to text and drive, and in doing so, can cause serious injury.

Essay Discussion Questions:

  1. What was the author's central argument?
  2. What evidence did the author use to support his argument?
  3. Was her argument effective? Did she persuade you?
  4. Did he commit any errors or fallacies?
  5. How did the author organize their essay?
  6. Did the author acknowledge any counter arguments?

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Dnt Txt N Drv

April 25, 2010


OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR


Dnt Txt N Drv By OPRAH WINFREY

Chicago


WHEN I started out as a TV reporter in Nashville in 1973, a death from drunken driving was big news. One person killed by a drunken driver would lead our local broadcast. Then, as the number of drunken driving deaths across the country continued to rise, the stakes for coverage got even higher. One death wasn’t good enough anymore. Two deaths — that would warrant a report. Then a whole family had to die before the news would merit mention at the top of the broadcast. The country, all of us, had gotten used to the idea of drunken driving. I just kept thinking: How many people have to die before we “get it”?


Fortunately, we did get it, and since 1980, the number of annual traffic fatalities due to drunken driving has decreased to under 15,500 from more than 30,000. But in recent years, another kind of tragic story has begun to emerge with ever greater frequency. This time, we are mourning the deaths of those killed by people talking or sending text messages on their cellphones while they drive.


Earlier this month, I visited Shelley and Daren Forney, a couple in Fort Collins, Colo., whose 9-year-old daughter, Erica, was on her bicycle, just 15 pedals from her front door, when she was struck and killed by a driver who was distracted by a cellphone. I think about Erica’s death and how senseless and stupid it was — caused by a driver distracted by a phone call that just couldn’t wait.


Sadly, there are far too many stories like hers. At least 6,000 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the number is rising. A lot of good work already is happening to try to change this. President Obama signed an executive order banning texting while driving on federal business. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is pushing for tougher laws and more enforcement. States are passing laws, too. Local groups are gaining strength, spurred by too many deaths close to home.


But we are hesitant to change. I saw this firsthand when I instituted a policy at my company that forbids employees from using their phones for company business while driving. I heard countless stories about how hard it was for people to stop talking and texting while driving. Everyone is busy. Everyone feels she needs to use time in the car to get things done. But what happened to just driving?


It was difficult for my employees to adjust, but they have. Life is more precious than taking a call or answering an e-mail message. Because even though we think we can handle using our cellphone in the car, the loss of thousands of lives has shown we can’t.


So many issues that we have to deal with seem beyond our control: natural disasters, child predators, traffic jams. Over the years, I’ve done shows on just about all of them. But this is a real problem we can do something about and get immediate results. All we have to do is hang up or switch off. It really is that simple. Once we do that, not another son or daughter will have to die because someone was on the phone and behind the wheel — and just not paying attention.


So starting from the moment you finish this article, and in the days, weeks and years that follow, give it up. Please. And to those who feel like this is asking too much, think about your own child just 15 pedals from your front door. Struck down.

Go to the link above to see what states have banned using mobile devices, and which ones are holding out!


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Persuasive Posters/ ADVERTISEMENTS

Persuasive Media

Advertisements are often meant to convince readers to think or act in a certain way.


Sometimes advertisements or persuasive texts can be bias (or one sided), based upon the beliefs or personal feelings of the writer.


Writers and speakers use many forms of persuasion to get you to do something!


-Exaggeration: An overstatement or stretching of the truth, especially to inspire a reaction.

-Categorical Claim: When an author says something about one group or thing and imply that it pertains to or represents all of those people or things.

-Stereotype: an oversimplified idea bout someone or something held in common by many people


-Ad Hominem: when the writer/speaker attacks the opponent's character.

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Ad I.

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Ad II.

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Ad III.

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Ad IV.

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Ad V.

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Ad VI.

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Ad VII.

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Analyze the above posters

  1. Which poster do you think appeals to teens? Explain.
  2. Which poster uses authority to persuade? Explain.
  3. Which poster appeals to the audiences emotions? Explain.
  4. Which poster is the most effective to you? Why?
  5. What do Ads IV and VI have in common?
  6. What inference can be made from Ad III?

From LOL to OMG

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Make a Statement:

By using the information you have learned about texting and driving, create a flyer that demonstrates persuasion.


You are to persuade your peers that texting and driving is a harmful act, and has major consequences.


Even if your peers are not at a driving age, they may get into a car with a distracted driver, inform and persuade them to make the right choice in a harmful situation.


Use ethical, emotional, or logical appeals.



Fact Sites:


http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html


http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/


Is what time the party starts really that important?

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