Interactive Writing | EL Education Curriculum

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can sort words with long and short vowel sounds in the middle. (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, CVCe, 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 categorize and read familiar words using the CVCe pattern from this cycle.
  • Observe students sharing the pen (or following along) during 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 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 (Short Vowel Sound column and Long Vowel Sound column)
    • Sort It Out Word Cards (see supporting materials)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Predetermine one sentence to be used for Interactive Writing. Suggested sentences: "I like to have a taste of cake and pet the snake," or "I sat in the shade to face the plate of grapes."


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

  • interact, interactive, possession, proficient (L)


  • T-chart (Short Vowel Sound column and Long Vowel Sound column)
  • Sort It Out Word Cards (see supporting materials)
  • Whiteboards or sheet protectors with white cardboard inside (optional; one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard markers (optional; one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard erasers (optional; 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 two columns: Short Vowel Sound and Long Vowel Sound.

2. Teacher asks:

“What does the magic ‘e’ do in words?” (makes the vowel say its name; makes a long vowel sound)

3. Teacher says: “Right! The magic ‘e’ doesn’t make a sound because it gives its sound to the vowel and makes it a long vowel sound. Today, during Sort it Out, we are going to sort words into two categories: Words that have a short vowel sound and words that have a long vowel sound.”

4. Teacher looks at the first Sort It Out Word Card (without showing it to students) and reads it aloud: “skate.”

5. Teacher says: “I am going to say the word again and listen for the vowel sound: ‘skate.’”

6. Teacher asks:

“What vowel sound do we hear in ‘skate’?” (/ā /)

7. Teacher shows students the word “skate” and asks:

“Why does the letter ‘a’ make that sound in this word?” (the magic ‘e’ at the end)

8. Teacher says: “Right! We see the magic ‘e.’ So then what vowel sound do we hear?” (/ā /)

9. Teacher asks:

“So where will we place this word, in the short or long vowel sound column?” (long vowel sound)

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

11. Repeat steps 4–10 with the remaining Word Cards: “rat,” “zap,” “plate,” “trace,” “blaze,” “cat,” “age,” “waste,” “van,” “vane,” “bad.”

  • Consider asking student volunteers to lead step 5. Full Alphabetic students may lead this instructional practice once it is learned.

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 our reader knows 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 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 text (example: "Sam and James rollerbladed to the park to eat glazed donuts") or a sentence aligned with content from the Integrated Literacy Block 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.
  • 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 need help independently recording 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 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.
  • 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 "c," "j," "p," "n," "m," or "t," you can work with:
    • I can jump on a mat.

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Extend or create a new interactive writing piece focusing on single-syllable CVCe 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. Consider using a sentence with words like "cap" and "cape" so students can see and hear the difference in the vowel sound made when the "e" is placed at the end of the word.
  • Related Activity Bank suggestions:
    • An Activity Bank activity from the Vowels category (V) or the High-Frequency Word category (HF)

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Extend interactive writing work by inviting students to compose sentences related to the Engagement Text: "James and Sam Make a Flame" (consider making a copy for each student). Give individualized feedback to students on conventions of print (including spelling patterns and grammar). Have them share out sentences/stories and reflect on new learning.
  • Follow up with the Lesson 76 Word List and exit ticket.
  • Check in on Accountable Independent Reading.

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