Interactive Writing

Amanda Schwabauer: Section B: February 11


The main focus of this article was to show teachers that interactive writing can go beyond just the younger grades, but really be used to help students develop writing skills in the upper elementary grades. Teachers and students come up with the topic and write the text together while focusing on important writing techniques. A key to the success of interactive writing is student participation and engagement.

Essential Parts of an Interactive Lesson

  • Experience: The topic is chosen by a shared classroom experience, such as a field trip or book.
  • Pre-write: The teacher and the students decide who the audience is, what they want the overall message to be, and why the text is important.
  • Compose: The teacher and the students decide on the content of the writing.
  • Share the pen: The teacher and the students take turns writing on the board.
  • Review: The teacher takes this time to reinforce to the students what writing skills were addressed.
  • Extend: The class uses this writing as an instructional tool. Also, the students may go and write their own piece.

Personal Opinion and Implications

  • Interactive writing is a great tool to use in a classroom setting that can be altered to fit your students needs. I think it would be interesting to use interactive writing in smaller groups, such as stations so that the instruction is more focused on students needs.
  • The entire class is working together as a group to come up with a writing piece. They will have ownership of the final product.
  • Interactive writing can be used throughout the year for subjects other then literacy.
  • Incorporates writing skills, language, genres, reading, conventions, etc., which are all key components of ELA.

Key Shifts in Grades 2-5

1.) Lesson Flow: Fluid and dynamic

-More in depth and quicker paced lessons

2.) Share the Pen: Modifications in pace, discussion and medium

- Students can use longer sentences and a larger vocabulary

3.) Lesson Frequency and duration: less and more

-The lessons will be less frequent but for longer periods of time

4.) Teaching Points: Expand and extend around genre

-Teachers can use a broader range of topics and genres

Big image

How to get started using interactive writing?

  1. Teach routines first
  2. Consider carefully the time of day to deliver the lesson
  3. Create a comfortable space near writing resources
  4. Use highly visible materials
  5. Prepare to make thoughtful teaching decisions
  6. Keep all students engaged
  7. Be patient with yourself


1.) How will you ensure that your entire class is participating and fully engaged in the interactive writing process?

2.) What ways can you differentiate instruction using interactive writing? Can you think of any adaptations that would make this more effective for the classroom?

3.) How have you seen the interactive writing process used in the classroom? In what ways do you think you will use the interactive writing process in your own classroom? (Think about possible subjects and objectives)


Interactive Writing: Reading Rockets

This resource explains in detail what interactive writing is and how you can use it for each grade. Also gives adaptations for specific topics.

TeAchnology: What is interactive writing?

A great resource that explains ways to utilize the technology you have while using the interactive writing strategy.

Literacy Builders

A great resource for finding examples of interactive writing used in different subjects especially for the younger grades.

APA Citation

Kate Roth & Joan Dabrowski (2014). Extending interactive writing into grades 2–5. The Reading Teacher, 68(1), 33–44