Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Shared Writing (Whole Group)

Jay Babcock
Colleges and Universities - Florida


Similar to Shared Writing (Small Group), this lesson is designed for the whole class. Students will compose an original text together and will participate in and see the thought process of other writers, including an expert - you!


The student generates ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks.

The student writes and revises a variety of simple texts (for example, sentences, paragraphs, stories, letters, explanations telling why or how, picture books, poems).

The student revises writing to improve supporting details and word choice by adding or substituting text.


-Chart Paper or white board
-Blue dry-erase marker
-Green dry-erase marker
-Red dry-erase marker


1. Gather supplies (markers, chart paper).
2. You may want to create a list of possible topics for students.
3. You may want to have a model or format to follow of a similar text.


1.Say: Today we are going to write a story. We are going to work together to write one good story that shows the best that we can do. What is the first thing we need to do? (Decide what it will be about.) Give students about 2 minutes to talk to their neighbors about what they would like to write about. Then, have them share their best 1 or 2 with the group and vote as a class on which will be best.

2. Using students' comments, create a concept map of supporting details for the selected topic.

3. Brainstorm ideas about how to open the writing with a topic sentence. Calling on students one at a time, take several thoughts until students form a complete sentence to begin.

4. Write the sentence on the chart paper with the blue marker. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the first paragraph is completed, writing exactly what children say. (Be sure to double space and alternate between blue and green for each sentence).

5. Prompt students to form a sentence to close the paragraph and transition to the next one, or if this is the desired length, move on to step 4. Write this sentence in green ink and repeat steps 1 and 2 if more paragraphs are needed.

6. Read the story back to students.

7. Ask students if there are ways to make the writing clearer by adding, deleting, or changing words. Make any corrections in red ink.

8. Ask students if the writing fits the purpose and remind them what the audience is. Encourage children to add in any details and to revise sentences to use the super sentence structure. Make any corrections in red ink. (This is why we skipped lines).

9. Ask students to make any necessary punctuation corrections, e.g., commas, questions marks, etc. The teacher can insert some mistakes while writing to see if students notice them as being incorrect. Make any corrections in red ink.

10. Have students rewrite the text individually, making the corrections as they go. They can then illustrate the text.


I've included several ideas on how to assess students' performance:

The attached worksheet can be completed by students.

A checklist to see which students are participating, and at what level (i.e. random statements, single words, complete sentences, building upon others' thoughts, etc.).

The final writing can be graded but would probably work best as an addition to a writing portfolio when the activity is done at regular intervals.

The interactive process can stop at any point, and the students asked to complete the writing on their own.


-ESOL students can act out a thought they are unable to speak.

-ESOL and ESE students can be helped by having blank formats or even examples of texts with which they can follow the format.

-The teacher can model a sentence by combining several students' individual thoughts in an ESE class.

-If this is part of an integrated unit, then the topic can be preselected.

-Students can even be asked to act out the text. This will show their comprehension and get them invested in creating an interesting and meaningful text, as well as bringing the concept of audience into a whole new light.
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