Guided Writing

  • Guided Writing

     What is Guided Writing?

     The writing produced during guided writing will typically be the result of about 10 minutes of concentrated individual writing time and may or may not be extended, revised, or edited outside of the guided writing context. Guided writing lessons do not take the place of such frameworks as a writing workshop model (Graves, 1983) or interactive writing (McCarrier, Pinnell, & Fountas, 2000). A guided writing lesson might occur after a whole-class writing lesson has been completed and students are writing independently. Guided writing thus provides a strong context for teachers' support of students as they put whole-class instruction into practice.


    Structuring Guided Writing Instruction

    Guided writing instruction in a small-group context allows teachers to provide high levels of immediate, targeted support while each student writes his or her own short but complete text. A typical format for a 20-minute guided writing lesson might include the following four steps:

    • Engagement in a brief, shared experience that is of interest to students, including both a linguistically and informationally rich activity and accompanying conversation, and expansion of students' ability to talk about content of interest
    • Discussion of strategic behavior for writing, including a presentation of a think-aloud or a cue for strategic activity along with active discussion of ways in which students can integrate this strategy into their own writing
    • Students' time to write individually with immediate guidance from the teacher, who "leans in" to interact with individual students about immediate decisions and strategies and uses prompts to guide students' thinking for problem solving while writing
    • A brief sharing activity in which the writer's immediate work is shared with an audience, and writers experience their newly written texts as a whole


    Guided Writing Video