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Lesson Plan

Teaching Audience Through Interactive Writing

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Thirteen 20-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Bethany L.W. Hankinson

Walhonding, Ohio


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



One of the most difficult aspects of writing is keeping audience in mind throughout the writing process. Developing lessons that support this strategy for writing is essential in the elementary classroom. This lesson supports first-grade students in learning about audience. Through interactive writing, students work together to create a genuine invitation letter for a group of their peers. In addition to the interactive writing experience, students work independently to create invitation letters for their families. Extension activities include conducting additional interactive writing experiences, reading books with samples of letters, and creating invitations at a learning center.

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About Interactive Writing:Access this webpage to find a definition of interactive writing and read about the roles of teacher and students during an interactive writing lesson.

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Combs, M.A., & Beach, J.D. (1994). Stories and storytelling: Personalizing the social studies. The Reading Teacher, 47(6), 464471.

  • Vygotsky (1978) argues that through interaction, with proficient guidance, children can develop advanced mental processes such as audience awareness and gradually internalize the ability to anticipate audience needs.

  • Young children can learn audience awareness when objectives are placed in a genuine, meaningful context. When the purpose is realistic and specifically defines a familiar audience, they can keep that audience in mind while writing.

  • Interactive writing provides teachers an opportunity to model how to think about audience, while at the same time allowing their students to interact or try their hand with the text.


McCarrier, A., Pinnell, G.S., & Fountas, I.C. (2000). Interactive writing: How language & literacy come together, K-2. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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