Literacy 4-6

Systems Change
Literacy 4-6 > Strategies > Collaborative Writing

Collaborative Writing


When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise their compositions, their writing quality improves. Social engagement can increase many students' Motivation, and with appropriate structure, peer discussion and feedback can improve students' Foundational Writing Skills, Vocabulary, Syntax, and Verbal Reasoning.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as these students write a story together. For this type of collaborative writing activity each student writes an individual piece of the story and then passes it to the next student so that they can add the next part.

  • Because composition and editing have many different components, it is important that teachers model what good collaborative writing looks like and provide guidance on what students should focus their Attention on as they write together. Providing a focus, like punctuation or organization, before students plan, write, or edit together can also help students collaborate more effectively, which also builds their Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    See how Google Docs can support collaborative writing. Their features that enhance collaboration include the ability for students to comment on other's writing, track changes in suggestion mode, and have multiple people work on one document at the same time.

  • Products that allow multiple students to simultaneously work on a piece of writing can help support a positive Literacy Environment. Incorporating ways for peers to give feedback, like track changes or comments, can also help foster collaboration.