Extending Interactive Writing

Blake Mosier- Section C- 9/10/15

What is interactive writing?

Interactive writing is where teachers and students come together to make a combined print source. The whole goal of interactive writing is that students would increase their knowledge about the topic. It is important to remember that this strategy is a combined effort and not one sided by the teacher or student.
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Principles of interactive writing:

  1. Value Each Step in the Lesson: Each part of a lesson takes a lot of attention by the teacher and students combined. If the teacher is excited about each part, the students will stay engaged with what is being taught.
  2. Balance the Planned and Unplanned Teaching Opportunities: Like any other lesson, interactive writing will have its teaching moments. It is important as the teacher to know how to steer a conversation to stay on task. At times you also have to take advantage of students questions to capitalize on learning.
  3. Make Intentional Teaching Decisions as Writers Develop: Each one of your students will be at a different level so it is your job as the teacher to know where your students are at and scaffold learning.
  4. Make Explicit Links to Students' Own Work: Students learn best when content is connect to their real world experiences. Pull out specific examples of students to highlight a unique aspect about them individually.

Essential parts of lesson:

Experience- relate to a common experience between teacher & student

Prewrite- students & teachers will discuss activity and layout of writing

Compose- discuss what they want to write & put into action using "rules of writing"

Share the Pen- both teacher & student will taking turns drafting the text

Review & Extend- teacher can hang the final product as a reminder for future reference

Personal thoughts:

Overall I love this strategy and believe all teachers should use it within their classroom! What I like best is how interactive the lesson becomes between teachers and students. The strategy is broken down in a way that all students can understand and is easy to navigate at any grade level.

From a reading standpoint, this article does really well at elaborating on this concept and give specific step by step instructions. It gives helpful tips by grade levels and guides you to be successful. After reading this article you will be fully equipped to implement interactive writing in your own classroom!

Additional resources:

This website gives excellent Interactive Writing resources connected to standards, units, and lesson plans:

Interactive Writing


  1. What is the difference between shared writing and interactive writing?
  2. Do you think interactive writing can be used after 6th grade? Why/how?
  3. What is an adaptation you could make for struggling writers in your classroom?


Roth, K., & Dabrowski, J. (2014). Extending Interactive Writing Into Grades 2-5. The Reading Teacher, 68 (1), 33-44.