Interactive Writing | EL Education Curriculum

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can sort words with only closed syllables and words with both open and closed syllables. (RF.1.3)
    • I can identify long and short vowel sounds in a single-syllable word that I hear.
    • I can identify the number of syllables in a word based on the number of vowel sounds.
  • Work Time A: I can collaborate with my teacher to write a sentence with CVC, CVCC, two-syllable, 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 short sound for each vowel.
    • I can identify features of a sentence, including the first word, capital letters, and ending punctuation.
    • I can say a two-phoneme or three-phoneme word and segment (break 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. Determine whether they can read each two-syllable word and categorize syllable types correctly.
  • Observe students sharing the pen (or following along) in Work Time. 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 minutes)

A. Interactive Writing: Writing Open Two-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 (Closed Only column and Both Closed and Open column)
    • Sort It Out Word Cards (see supporting materials)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Predetermine one sentence to be used for the Interactive Writing instructional practice. Suggested sentences: "I want a bagel and a refill of this soda," or "The hotel will open in a moment for the big event."


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

  • interact, interactive, proficient, syllable (L)


  • T-chart (Closed Only column and Both Closed and Open column)
  • Sort It Out Word Cards (see supporting materials)
  • Whiteboards or sheet protectors with white cardboard inside (one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard markers (one per student)
  • Whiteboard erasers (or tissues, socks, etc.; one per student)
  • 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 starts on the chart. The teacher will tell us how to start. Put each word into its spot. The end of the word will tell us a lot. The middle of the word will help us, too. The vowel sound will give an important clue. So, let’s read the words all the way through. That’s how we’ll learn something new!”

  • Begin the Sort It Out instructional practice:

1. Teacher shows students the t-chart and introduces the two columns: Closed Only and Both Open and Closed.

2. Teacher asks:

“What kind of a vowel sound do we hear in closed syllables?” (short) “Right! And what vowel sound do we hear in open syllables, like the words we are learning this week?” (long) “Right! We discovered that syllables are open when they end with a vowel sound. Today, during Sort It Out, we are going to sort some of our two-syllable words into two categories: Words that have only closed syllables and words that have both open and closed syllables.”

3. Teacher holds up the first Sort It Out Word Card and reads it aloud: “event.”

4. Teacher says: “I am going to say the word again and listen for the vowel sounds in each syllable: ‘e-vent.’

5. Teacher asks:

“Which vowel sounds do we hear?” (/ē/ and /e/)

6. Teacher asks:

“So how many syllables in ‘event’?” (two)

7. Teacher says: “Right! Two vowel sounds mean two syllables. And what kind of syllables do I have in this word: open, closed, or both?” (both)

8. Teacher says: “Right! The first vowel sound is long, so it is an open syllable. The second vowel sound is short, so it is a closed syllable. So this word has both a closed and an open syllable. After I read this word, I will put it in the Both Open and Closed column.”

9. Teacher reads the next Word Card aloud but does not show it: “moment.”

10. Students chorally repeat the word, segmenting each syllable: “mo-ment.”

11. Teacher asks:

“Which vowel sounds do we hear in this word?” (/ō/ and /e/) “And what kind of syllables are in ‘moment’?” (open and closed)

12. Teacher says: “Great! So we will place this in the Both Open and Closed column on our chart.”

13. Teacher (or student volunteer) places the Word Card in the correct column.

14. Repeat steps 4–9 with remaining Word Cards: “contest,” “defend,” “focus,” “muffin,” “nutmeg,” “reset,” “soda,” “virus,” “moment.”

  • Consider asking student volunteers to lead step 5. Full Alphabetic students may lead this instructional practice once it is learned.
  • Consider providing pictures for unfamiliar words such as "nutmeg."
  • Consider providing or asking for students to use the words in a sentence.
  • Model the Syllable Sleuth process as needed:

A. Identify the vowels.

B. Look between the vowels for the consonant(s).

C. If there are two consonants, divide between them.

D. If there is a consonant, try dividing before it (if it doesn't sound right, try dividing after it).

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Interactive Writing: Writing Open Two-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 our reader knows this is where our sentence starts?" (Capitalize it.)

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

9. 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.

10. Teacher asks:

"How do I let the reader know that this is the end of the sentence?" (use a period)

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

12. 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: "Pat's Donut" (example: "I wanted to grab a muffin before we left the hotel") or a sentence aligned with content from the Integrated Literacy Block. 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.
  • 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 familiar words, 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 struggle to independently record the grapheme for each sound on their whiteboards, consider providing and/or modeling with sound boards.

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 to 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?"

  • 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 divided the word into syllables, I _____."
    • "When I counted the vowels, 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.
  • Lead an interactive writing experience using a different sentence, focusing on closed one-syllable words. Use a sentence that reinforces the vowel sounds needing more attention based on students' needs.

Partial Alphabetic:

  • For students at the late Partial Alphabetic (PA) phase, extend or create a new interactive writing piece focusing on closed and open two-syllable words. This might 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 A.
  • For students working at the early to middle PA phase, emphasize one-syllable open- or closed-syllable words as well as one high-leverage (i.e., can be used a lot in their independent writing), high-frequency word.
  • Related Activity Bank suggestions:
    • An Activity Bank activity from the Syllable Pattern category (SP)

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Extend work with interactive writing by inviting students to write extended narratives or expository pieces, or compose sentences related to the Engagement Text "Pat's Donut" (consider making a copy for each student). 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.
  • Consider using this time to work with an appropriate common text, making connections to the syllable patterns introduced, and holding text-based comprehension conversations. Follow up with the Lesson 71 Word List and exit ticket. Analyze words that were more challenging and discuss why.
  • Check in on Accountable Independent Reading.

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