Into Grades 2-5 by :Kate Roth ■ Joan Dabrowski

What is Interative Writing?

  • A dynamic instructional method during which the teacher and students work together to construct a meaningful text while discussing the details of the writing process.

  • Involves both group collaboration in composing the writing through guided conversation and a unique “sharing the pen” technique where students do the actual writing.

Recommended Sequence of Interactive Writing


The piece to be written is motivated and informed by a shared classroom experience.

Examples: book read together, the content studied in a science or social studies lesson, a math procedure the class is working on, or a class field trip or school assemblies.


The teacher and the students consider the form and function of the writing.

Examples: Journaling thier own narratives.


The teacher and students discuss the specific content of the writing. Students share their ideas as the teacher helps the class negotiate the precise language othf the text

Share The Pen-

The text is written on sentence strips or chart paper with an innovative tech- nique unique to interactive writing in which the teacher and students take turns with the pen (or marker).


After the message is complete, the teacher helps the students to revisit a few of the instructional points emphasized. The teacher asks students to continue interacting with the message to find examples of principles explicitly taught during the lesson

4 principles of interactive writing

Four universal principles that hold for interactive writing across all grades:

(1) Value each step in the lesson

(2) Balance the planned and unplanned teaching opportunities

(3) Make intentional teaching decisions as students develop

(4) Make explicit links between a whole-class lesson and students’ own writing

Ways of Teaching Interactive Writing

  • Differentiate instruction to cater to students levels of writing ability.
  • Integrating this writing strategy into many subject areas. (Thank you letters, science procedures, social studies events, writing prompts.
  • Using resources of white boards and smart boards depending on the age level and what the classroom offers.

How it relates to Common Core

Common Core standards, progresses in grades 2–5.

In second grade, students are expected to state an opinion with reasons. In third grade, they are expected to organize these reasons.

In fourth grade, students are expected to write with clarity, group their ideas according to their overall purpose, and have a concluding statement or section that links backto their opinion.

In fifth grade, students strengthen opinion writing through “logically grouped ideas” and “logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Knowing this is important so you can find ways to use interactive writing into many grade levels.



Example of what a interactive writing flip book looks like


Gives many websites to improve writing skills grades 3-5

Discussion questions

In what ways do you plan to incorporate interactive writing into your classroom?

Explain the similarities and differences between lessons on writing to interactive writing lessons?

What accommodations would you make for students who seem to struggle in interactive writing?