Professional Development

November 9, 2019

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Write in Guided Reading

We all have been there. We get to the end of a guided reading lesson, check for comprehension, and then it’s time to do a quick write. We realize we didn’t quite plan ahead because, goodness, we rarely get this far in the lesson without the timer going off. But not today! Today we made it all the way to the end and it’s time for some guided reading writing activities.

But what do we do?

I have four activities for you to do for guided reading writing activities at your table. They are simple, use the materials you already have on hand, easily adjustable for kindergarten, first grade, or second grade guided reading, and are quick enough to squeeze into your lesson.

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1. Write about their favorite part on a sentence strip.

I love this for the beginning of the year with my young readers. Sentence strips are a favorite tool because they help exaggerate text directionality. I would simply ask them to write about their favorite part of the text. They also can turn them into a hat, which they wear home and their parents ask about later. A total win all around!

2. Extend the story on dry erase boards.

Ask questions like, “What would you have done if you were (insert character name here)?” or “ What fun fact about (insert topic here) would you have added to the book?” The students will write their story extension on a dry erase board.

3. Write a new ending for the story on dry erase boards.

This is super fun for kids as they get to create their own ending and join the author! Simply ask, “How would YOU have the story end?” Students will write their response on a dry erase board.

4. Use a sentence frame from the book.

Sometimes our writer’s just need some sentence frames to help launch them into expressing themselves. We do this verbally often as I shared HERE in this blog post, but we forget about writing. This is great for ELLs and can easily be adjusted to match the level of text!

5. Extend the text in a book making station!

This is one of my favorite stations I did my first year of teaching. It was so simple and keeping it so open ended was great to see their imaginations run wild! If they read a nonfiction book about spiders, I loved seeing them write their own nonfiction book. If they read a fiction book about a trip to the beach, they would extend the story line! I would simply staple together blank pieces of paper and give them various writing utensils to use as they pleased.

Each of these guided reading writing activities will help you coach your writers through the process. You are right there at the table and are able to monitor their progress and step in when needed.

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If you are looking for some ideas on implementing shared writing in your classroom, check out THIS POST!

If you are looking for guided reading books, you will love my leveled guided reading kits! You can find them HERE!

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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