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Interactive Writing: Lesson Plan Example

written by: Laurie Patsalides • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 2/14/2012

This is the last in a series of articles on using interactive writing in the classroom. Here you will find a classroom example of putting interactive writing into practice.

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    Interactive Writing Lesson Plan: Constructing Text

    Now that you have a basic introduction to the interactive writing process (considering beginning to read the series from the beginning, below), we will use the example of "We have gym today" as a sentence to construct. Please note that in the beginning of the school year, you are likely to choose the topic and sentence for the class, but later in the year when the students understand more about interactive writing, then they can choose the text. Your lesson will be different depending on what skill you are teaching in writing that day. Do not overwhelm students by trying to teach too many writing skills in one lesson. For example, in the beginning of the school year, start with the concepts of print (we start the sentence with a capital letter, letters together make words, each word has a beginning sound, we leave spaces between words....) Later in the year you can focus on sounding out words, vowels, ending sounds, sight words, and chunking words.

    Begin the writing lesson by telling the students that the writing purpose for today is to start a sentence with a capital letter and to finish with a period.

    State the sentence ("We have gym today") and count the number of words in the sentence. We have gym today has four words in the sentence. Write four black lines at the bottom of the chart paper with spaces between the words (the top of the paper is left blank for the illustrator to draw a picture), touch each line and repeat each word of the sentence again. Notice that the blank spaces between words show us where each word ends.

    Ask students where the first word of the sentence should go. We is the first word, tell the students to make the sound "w, w, w" and find it on their ABC charts. At this time of the year most students will need you to say the alphabet with them again and stop at the "w" sound. Once they get there, notice that there is a large W (which is a capital letter) and a small w (which is a lowercase letter). Today we will need the capital W because it is the first letter of our sentence.

    Choose a student to write the capital W on the first line of the sentence. Next the teacher makes the long e sound and writes the letter e in the word "we". If this was later in the year I would expect the students to know the sight word and write it completely or at least be able to sound it out. Toward the end of the year I give students a copy of the word wall words to use during interactive writing.

    Continue with the next word in the sentence "have" and so on until the sentence is constructed. Now notice that something is missing at the end of the sentence to tell us that the sentence is complete. Again at this time of year you may need to tell them that it is a period.

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    Summarizing and Illustrating

    Keep in mind that Kindergarteners need picture support to reread the text. Choose illustrators to draw the pictures that correlate with the text at a later time in the day. These make great displays for parents and for the administration to see the learning that is taking place in the classroom.

    Once you have finished your interactive writing lesson and the illustrator has completed the picture of the students going to gym, be sure to read the sentence again and again. Call students forward to touch and read the words, find the first word, last word, period and so on. For more information as to how interactive writing relates to shared reading, click here.

    One word of caution, Interactive Writing is intended to look like a published piece. If a student makes a mistake, use the correction tape to fix it right away and have him or her rewrite.

Interactive Writing: A Writing Series

What is interactive writing and how can I include it in my classroom are the questions to be answered in this writing series.
  1. An Overview of the Interactive Writing Process
  2. Beginning Interactive Writing - Tools to Get Started
  3. Sharing the Pen: Choosing a Topic from Everyday Experiences
  4. Interactive Writing: Lesson Plan Example