Informative Writing Topics for the 5th Grade

Instruct fifth-grade students to write based on informative topics.

The purpose of informative writing is to inform a reader on a specific topic. Students become more informed on the topic as well as they complete research, interviews and observations. An important part of fifth-grade curriculum is learning to select an informative topic and complete a written assignment on that topic.

1 Famous Person

Have fifth-grade students write based on the informative topic of a famous person. Allow students to select someone famous that they wish to know more about and want to inform others about through their writing. This could be a famous politician, actor, musician, singer, writer or athlete. Examples could include Barack Obama, Jennifer Aniston, Mariah Carey, Stephenie Meyer or Michael Jordan. The famous person can be living, deceased, currently working or retired. The student should provide background information, achievements, interesting facts and quotes from the famous person.

2 Famous Event

Allow students to write about a famous event as an informative topic. Famous events in history could include wars, tragedies and triumphs. Examples of famous events that students could choose to write about are World War II, the rise of Nazi power or the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. Students should include who, what, when, where, why and how in the detailed information on their famous event.

3 Book or Movie

Give students the option of writing an informative paper on a book or movie. This requires that students view the movie or read the book. Further research on the movie or book will be necessary. Students should look at reviews, synopses, characters, settings, plots and symbolism. Students should select an age-appropriate movie of book. Examples include "Twilight" or "The Blind Side." They can pick one that is both a movie and a book. It can be based on real life or fiction.

4 How-To

Give students the option of selecting an informative topic based on how to accomplish a task. This could be how to do a craft, sport, recipe or life skill. Examples include how to bake chocolate chip cookies, make new friends, play soccer or make a scrapbook. Students should take readers through each of the necessary steps toward accomplishing the task. It should be easy enough to follow that any reader should feel that she could accomplish the goal. Encourage students to do the task step by step themselves to put them in the shoes of their audience and help them make their steps clear.

Sarah Mollman began writing for "The Northern Iowan" newspaper in 2005. She was awarded scholarships from the Department of English at the University of Northern Iowa for Outstanding Short Story and Outstanding Personal Essay in 2008. Mollman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching from the University of Northern Iowa.