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Writing During Reading

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Jan. 10, 2020, 12:31 p.m.

By Randi Anderson


Integration is key for being able to fit all the things in that we have to teach! Here are some ways to get students talking and writing during your reading block.


  • Interactive Reading Responses

After reading a selection, pose an open-ended question about the text to the students. Have students STOP (think time) and TALK (discussion with peers) about their responses to the question about the text. Allow students time to share (in a small group setting) their answers and reasons to the question. Then, have students STOP (revise their thinking) and WRITE to answer the text question. Make this writing time no longer than 5 minutes.


For younger learners, pose the open-ended question, STOP (think) and TALK (discuss with peers). Then have students STOP and DRITE (drawing + writing) their answer to the question. Allow 5-10 minutes for them to Drite.


  • Stop and REREAD What You Wrote

Once students have finished writing, remind them to stop and reread what they just wrote. Model for students what this looks like and how this is an important lifelong habit practice. Model both revising and editing by fixing a mistake, rewording a sentence, adding an important detail so that students can see that no matter your skill level or age, we are always learning and improving our work. It's a simple daily instructional tool!


  • Ending Each Day with Rigor

A simple way to get students analyzing their thinking (through writing) is having them journal at the end of each block or class to these 2 questions.


  1. What did I learn about .... today?
  2. How did your thinking about .... change?


These questions engage students in a reflection on their own learning and thinking processes, thus locking in learning.



Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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