Experience Unit 4 through All Things Fun and Fascinating!

Oct 27, 2017 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


With the changing of the month, we also have a changing of the IEW writing units. Last month we turned our attention to fiction writing with Unit 3: Retelling Narrative Stories. This month students get the opportunity to sharpen their writing skills by funneling facts in Unit 4: Summarizing a Reference. This month’s sample is selected from All Things Fun and Fascinating, a Level A theme-based book. Level A sources are generally recommended for students in Grades 3‒5. Read through it with your student and enjoy learning more about “Busy Beavers!”

Busy Beavers

     Beavers are amazing builders. They erect dams across streams to form ponds. Then, they construct their homes, called lodges, in the ponds.

     Beavers build their lodges at night so their enemies cannot see them. First they pile mud and stones in their pond. Next, they use their sharp teeth to cut down small trees and branches until the mound sticks high out of the water. Then, the beavers dig tunnels from under the water into the center of the mound. They dig out a room that is higher than the water level so they can stay dry.

     To make the lodge strong, the beavers pack mud between the sticks with their paddle-like tails. The mud keeps the rain and cold out. The beaver family will live in their lodge all winter. They stack extra small trees and branches nearby to use for repairs to the lodge or the dam. They also use the extra trees for food because they eat leaves and bark. Because the only way in is from the underwater tunnels, the lodge keeps the beaver family safe from enemies.


Using the above source, have your student write a paragraph on the topic. He will need to selectively choose his facts for his outline. For detailed descriptions of how to teach this concept, refer to Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Unit 4. If you have an IEW Premium Subscription, you may also enjoy using our online IEW Checklist Generator™.

For more fun facts about amazing animal homes, check out All Things Fun and Fascinating. It is filled with—well, all things fun and fascinating!

IEW Checklist Generator is a trademark of the Institute for Excellence in Writing, L.L.C.

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