Year 1-3 Learning Continuity

Session 15: Independent Writing

Presenters: June Ruma Piartir, Noelyn Otari, Beglen Saeni, Abigail Marita.

Topic: Independent Writing


Recap of Previous Session: Guided Writing

Guided writing is very similar to guided reading in the classroom that learners are placed into smaller groups that are at a similar level or who are working towards a similar writing goal. The purpose of a guided writing session is for teachers to spend time with a small group of students that are grouped based on teacher observations or remarks on learners.

Guided writing is an activity that is used when learners have gained some confidence and competence in writing particular texts. This means that the learner has had the particular type of text modelled to them and that they are able to write more of the text with their own ideas and with their own pen or pencil. The teacher provides support by giving clear guidelines for the activity, by giving some clear and explicit ways to complete the task and then by supporting learners throughout the task.

Today’s Session: Independent Writing

Expected outcome: learners will learn about the process of creating a text by themselves.

What is independent writing?

At all levels of primary school, learners need the opportunity to use their existing skills in doing meaningful writing. Even when learners are still very new to writing (and struggling or dealing with their fine motor skills of holding a pencil), learners need the choice to try out drawing and writing. Independent writing is therefore a time for learners to write and utilise or apply the strategies and understandings gained through whole class (shared writing), small group (guided writing) and one-to-one instruction (independent writing).

Why independent writing is important:

Teachers or parents, by creating time for independent exploration (finding out) and creation of texts allows children to experiment with emergent/developing writing behaviours without adult support.

Independent writing can help develop learners’ sense of ownership over their skills and provide some quiet time where children can work and explore uninterrupted, at their own pace.

How independent writing can be carried out:

In the classroom, there are many opportunities to create texts – shorter texts of one or two sentences or longer texts that may be a few paragraphs. Whatever the length of the text, teachers must be aware that learners will go through the series or sequence of steps to build their writing, and we refer to this as the writing process.

Teachers, your task when learners are in the process of doing independent writing is to help them to create or start and understand the purpose of their own writing. This includes:

A. Plan  – using drawing or graphic organiser

B. Write – when children start discussing on what they want to write about and start putting it together


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