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Lesson Plan

Four Simple Steps to Small-Group Guided Writing

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sharan A. Gibson, Ph.D.

Sharan A. Gibson, Ph.D.

San Diego, California


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology



Teacher Resources




  • Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies (Candlewick Press, 2001)

  • Small-group writing table with room for you and a small group of students

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Writing paper or journal for each student

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Analytic Assessment

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1. Identify a group of two to six students in your class who are in need of additional support. For the sessions described here, choose students who are not writing enthusiastically about topics they are interested in during whole-class writing activities. You might, for example, choose students who write very little text on a daily basis or who write repetitive texts that lack interesting details.

2. Collect an initial, independent writing sample for each student.

3. Locate and preview a copy of Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies. Take note of the wide range of information about bats that Davies has included within the story and the ways in which the illustrations (by Sarah Fox-Davies) support students' natural inquiry. Notice how different fonts used in the book provide different types of information.

4. Review the websites listed in the Web Resources.
Bookmark these websites on your computer so that they are easily accessible for students during Sessions 1, 2, and 3. If you do not have a classroom computer with Internet access, reserve sessions in your school's computer lab.

5. Create your own one- or two-sentence story about bats to use as a model in Session 3.

6. Make photocopies for each student of the Keep Writing! (Session 1), Write a Title! (Session 2), and Write Lots of Details! (Session 3) strategy charts. Also make one copy of the Analytic Assessment form for each session.

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