Exploring Interactive Writing as an Effective Practice for Increasing Head Start Students’ Alphabet Knowledge Skills

Anna H. Hall, Michael D. Toland, Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Stephen Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The current study used a pretest–posttest randomized control group design with 73 Head Start students, ages 3–5 years. The researcher served as the interactive writing teacher for the treatment group, rotating to five different classrooms in one Head Start center 3–4 days a week for 13 weeks. Children in the treatment group received a 10–15 min interactive writing lesson each day in small groups within their own classroom settings. Children in the control group received standard literacy instruction in small groups with their own classroom teachers. Child outcome data on upper case, lower case, and letter sound identification were collected before and after the intervention for both groups. Based on the large frequency of zeros on outcomes, zero-inflated Poisson regression analyses were performed. The results of the study showed that children receiving interactive writing identified more lower case and upper case letters at the end of the study relative to children in the control, but no differences were observed on letter sounds. While continued evaluation of the interactive writing strategy is needed in the preschool setting, the evidence from the current study shows encouraging trends in alphabet knowledge skill development as a result of this strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 14 2014


  • Early childhood
  • Emergent literacy
  • Head Start
  • Interactive writing
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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