Using Questions To Extend a Shared Writing Lesson

During Shared Writing the teacher guides children to compose messages using a combination of writing. For beginning writers to understand what writing is and to cognize the connection between spoken and written language, the teacher must continually model the writing process by using the think aloud strategy - that is to verbalize the writing process as it is being executed. In subsequent sessions the teacher gradually solicits the student’s assistance as they begin to identify sounds and name letters in words; the teacher acknowledges and writes the letters in the correct placement.  This daily modeling and interaction builds confidence and encourages students to become independent writers.  The 6+1 Traits® Of Writing should be modeled continually, and it’s specific vocabulary: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation (NREL, 2008, p. 1) should be used when modeling writing strategies to the students. For example a teacher may say, “Molly, I really like the word choice you used”.


  • Morning Message
  • Daily News
  • Chit-Chat
  • Summaries
  • Lists
  • Charts
  • Schematic Organizers
  • Group Stories


The following are examples of questions a teacher might ask students to extend the learning during a shared writing experience.

Concepts of Print

  • Where did we start writing? Which way did we go?
  • What did we put at the beginning and end of the sentence?
  • What did we leave between each word?
  • Find a favorite letter.  What is it?
  • How many words are in this sentence?
  • Should I use a uppercase letter in this word?

Phonological Awareness

  • What sound did you hear at the beginning(or end) of ___?
  • Name another word that begins with the same sound as ____?
  • Tell me a word that rhymes with ____?
  • When I say __ __ __, tell me the sounds you hear.
  • How many syllables are in the word _____?


  • What sound and letter does ____ begin with?
  • What sound and letter does ____ end with?
  • Find a word with the same beginning sound as _____?
  • Find a word that belongs to the _____ word family.
  • Let’s make a list of other words that begin with, end with, or rhyme with ______?
  • Do you see a vowel in the word _____?
  • What is the vowel in the word ______?

High Frequency Words

  • Find the word _____.
  • How did we spell _____?
  • Circle the sight word _______.
  • I need to write the word ____. 
  • Can you point to that word on the word wall? Or, can you spell that word?

Click here to learn more about Shared Writing by listening to our podcast: