Interactive Writing | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:S2:C8:L44

Interactive Writing

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can sort words ending with "-ck." (RF.1.3)
    • I can say a two- or three-phoneme word and segment it (break it apart) into individual phonemes (sounds) (in order).
    • I can identify and say the final phoneme (sound) in a one-syllable word.
  • Work Time A: I can collaborate with my teacher to write a sentence with VC, CVC, CCVC, and high-frequency words. (RF.1.1, RF.1.2, RF.1.3, L.K.2)
    • I can look at each consonant and say its sound.
    • I can identify the sound that corresponds to "ck."
    • I can identify features of a sentence, including the first word, capital letters, and ending punctuation.
    • I can say a two- or three-phoneme word and segment it (break it apart) into individual phonemes (sounds) (in order).
    • I can use what I know about common spelling patterns to correctly spell words with those common patterns.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during Opening A. Determine whether they can make the sound for letters, decode, and read familiar words using letters and sounds from this cycle.
  • Observe students sharing the pen (or following along) during Work Time A. Determine whether they can write the given sentence following basic concepts of print such as directionality and spacing.



1. Opening (3-5 minutes)

A. Reviewing Skills and Knowledge: Sort It Out

2. Work Time (10-15 minutes)

A. Interactive Writing: Writing Regular and Familiar One-Syllable Words

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction and Rotations (40 minutes)

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • T-chart: "-ack" column, "-ick" column, "-ock" column, "-uck" column
    • Sort It Out Word Cards (see supporting Materials)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Identify and teach hand signals for short-vowel sounds. If American Sign Language is used for vowels, consider posting the ASL alphabet. Draw attention to the vowels used in the activity ("a," "i," "o," and "u"). If different hand signals are used, teach or remind students of the signal for each letter ("a," "i," "o," and "u").
  • Predetermine one sentence to be used for the Interactive Writing instructional practice (suggested sentences: "The rock is in Sam's sock," "The rock gives Sam luck," or "Sam tucked a rock in his sock").


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • digraph, interact, interactive, possession, proficient (L)


  • T-chart (teacher-created, using whiteboard or chart paper; from Lesson 39)
  • Sort It Out Word Cards (one set for teacher use)
  • Whiteboards or sheet protectors with white cardboard inside (one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard markers (one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard erasers (or tissues, socks, etc.; one per student or pair)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Skills and Knowledge: Sort It Out

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "Sound Off" or "Cadence Count/Duckworth Cadence"):

"Sorting words is lots of F-U-N (fun!) We made a change to R-U-N (run). A different vowel changes run to ran. We can find some rhymes like can and tan. Look for words that sound the same. That's how we're going to play a sorting game."

  • Begin the Sort It Out instructional practice:

1. Teacher shows students the t-chart and introduces the four columns: "-ock," "-ick," "-ack," and "-uck."

2. Student volunteers pronounce the sound for each column.

3. Teacher holds up the first Sort It Out Word Card and reads it aloud: "back."

4. Teacher says: "I am going to say the word again slowly, segmenting each sound, so I can listen for the vowel sound that I hear: /b/ /a/ /k/--'back.' I hear the /a/ /k/ sound in the middle, so I will place this card in the '-ack' column."

5. Teacher reads the next Sort It Out Word Card aloud but does not show it: "sick."

6. Students chorally repeat the word, segmenting each sound: /s//i//k/.

7. Students use a hand signal to indicate the column in which the word belongs. ("-ick")

8. Teacher shows the Sort It Out Word Card. Students give a thumbs-up if their answer was correct.

9. Teacher (or student volunteer) places the card in the correct column.

10. Repeat steps 5-9 with remaining cards: "tuck," "lock," "slack," "pick," "rock," "duck," "kick," "pack," "pluck," "shock."

  • Consider asking student volunteers to lead step 5. Full Alphabetic students may lead this instructional practice once it is learned.
  • Consider extending this activity to include the suffix "-ed." Have students identify the verbs and write place an "ed" card (the letters "ed" written on a card or sticky note) at the end. Invite students to read the new words and explain how the "-ed" suffix changes the meaning of the original word.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Interactive Writing: Writing Regular and Familiar One-Syllable Words

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Now let's all be writers, be writers, be writers. Now let's all be writers like the authors we love. Listen to the sentence, the sentence, the sentence. Listen to the sentence, we will write as a group."

  • Optional: Distribute whiteboards, whiteboard markers, and whiteboard erasers (or have students follow along by skywriting).
  • Begin the Interactive Writing instructional practice:

1. Teacher models the Interactive Writing instructional practice with one word.

2. Teacher reads the chosen sentence aloud and taps out the words on the paper/whiteboard.

3. Students repeat the sentence (rehearse a few times as needed).

4. Teacher says the first word in the sentence.

5. Teacher invites a student volunteer to the board to write the letters, parts, or entire word.

6. Remaining students follow along with whiteboards or skywriting.

7. Teacher asks:

"What do we need to remember to do to this first letter so that our reader will know that this is where our sentence starts?" (Capitalize it.)

8. After the first word in the sentence is complete, teacher asks:

"What comes after a word?" (a space)

9. Teacher taps out the remaining words of the sentence.

10. Repeat steps 5-6 with the remainder of the sentence. Teacher may write some of the letters, word parts, or words to speed up the process if necessary.

11. Teacher asks:

"What do we need to remember to put at the end so that our reader knows we are done with this sentence?" (a period)

12.Teacher points to each word as he or she reads the completed sentence aloud.

13. Students read the completed sentence aloud.

  • For students who are ready for more challenge, use a more complex sentence, similar to one from the Decodable Reader (example: "Sam has a rock stuck in his sock") or a sentence aligned with content from the Integrated Literacy Block (example: "I can use a tool to fix that broken chair") that does not necessarily stick exclusively to sounds, letters, and patterns introduced in the letter cycles. You can invite students to contribute parts (examples: a high-frequency word, a beginning phoneme) that they know and then model and fill in the rest. Doing this allows for vocabulary and content learning reinforcement.
  • Consider additional review of the "ck" digraph during the interactive writing sentence. For example, if "rock" is used (from suggested sentence), ask:

"What is the last sound you hear in /r//o// k/?" (/k/) "That's right! And we learned this week a digraph that ends words with the /k/ sound. What digraph is that?" ("ck")

  • For ELLs: Consider using pictures to clarify any nouns or verbs in the sentence that may be new. Act out verbs for clarification. Letter-sound connections are strengthened when students see that they are tools that allow them to communicate an idea.
  • If students are writing words that they have read previously, remind them that these are familiar words and they should try to remember how the words were spelled when they read them. This supports the goal of automaticity with letter sound connections.
  • If students need help independently recording the grapheme for each sound on their whiteboards, provide and/or model using the sound boards.
  • If a word with a suffix is encountered, identify the function it plays in the word. For example: "-'s" shows possession (something belonging to the noun) "-s," or "-es" at the end of a noun shows plural, and "-s," "-ing," or "-ed" on the end of a verb shows present or past tense.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that effective learners keep track of and reflect on their own learning. Point out that they are doing this each time they consider how what they did today helps them become more proficient readers.
  • Remind students that today they reviewed letters and sounds and irregularly spelled words, practiced decoding, and used the skills they've been learning to write a sentence together.
  • Invite students to reflect independently. Ask:

"What did you do today that is helping you become a more proficient reader?" (Responses will vary. Examples: "If we say each sound slowly and think about what sound is in the beginning, middle, or end, we will get them in the right order," or "If we think about how the sounds feel in our mouth, it will help us know what letter to write.")

  • Invite a volunteer to share. Afterward, invite any students who did something similar to indicate that in an interactive way (examples: stand and turn in place, hop up and down excitedly).
  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • "When I made the sounds for the word _____, I _____."
    • "When I wrote the letter _____, I _____."
    • "When I blended the sounds _____, I _____."

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with students in the Pre-Alphabetic, Partial Alphabetic, and Consolidated Alphabetic groups. Teacher will not work with students in the Full Alphabetic group today.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work Guidance document for more details (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual).


  • Aim small group instruction at building students' knowledge and skills of letter identification and phonological awareness.
  • Use the Assessment Conversion chart to determine appropriate Kindergarten lessons and Activity Bank ideas to use in daily small group instruction (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Lead an interactive writing experience using a different sentence, focusing on initial letters and letter formation. Use a sentence that places letter sounds you are working on at the beginning and end of words. For example, if working on "o," "i," "a," "c," "p," "t," "s," "n," you can work with:
    • I can sit on top.

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Extend or create a new interactive writing piece focusing on CVC, CCVC, or CVCC words. This may include a new sentence related to the Decodable Reader or the content in the Integrated Literacy Block, or a sentence that naturally follows the one written during work time.
  • For students working at the early to middle Partial Alphabetic phase, contrast short "a" ("-ack") and short "i" ("-ick") patterns, as well as one high-leverage (i.e., can be used a lot in their independent writing), high-frequency word (example: "gives").
  • For students working at the middle to late Partial Alphabetic phase, consider extending the interactive writing work as described above by contrasting all short-vowel "-ck" patterns ("-ock," "-ick," "-ack," "-uck"), as well as a new high-frequency word or one from a previous cycle needing review.

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Extend work with interactive writing by inviting students to compose sentences related to the Engagement Text: "Sam's Rock" (consider making a copy for each student). Use this opportunity to give individualized feedback to students on conventions of print (including spelling patterns and grammar). Have students share out sentences/stories and reflect on new learning.
  • Follow up with the Lesson 41 Word List and exit ticket.
  • Check in on Accountable Independent Reading.

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