What is shared writing?

6th October 2000 at 01:00
This year's National Literacy Strategy training package is about the teaching of writing. It suggests a sequence of whole-class teaching, beginning with exploring published texts; moving on to relevant features of grammar, punctuation or style; and culminating in shared writing. There are three levels of shared writing:


The teacher shows how to write a particular sort of text or in a particular style, giving a running commentary on what he or she is doing, and why. The teacher:

* rehearses each sentence orally before writing, discussing choices about vocabulary, word order, and so on - demonstrating that composition requires reflection

* writes the sentence, drawing attention to features such as punctuation and how they contribute to the effect

* reads back what she has written to check how it sounds - and perhaps amends the piece as it progresses.


The teacher involves the pupils in word choices and composition. Using the same technique of rehearse-write-reread, she scribes their suggestions, and shares the running commentary with them.

Supported writing

Each pair of pupils has a whiteboard and marker. The teacher throws responsibility for a sentence to the class. In pairs, the children rehearse-write-reread, then hold up the whiteboard for the teacher to see. The teacher can then decide how much more shared work is necessary. Once pupils have been given a thorough grounding in how to write through the shared writing lesson, they are ready to move on to independent writing.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today