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Home » Blog » Literacy » What to Do During Literacy Interventions
Written by: Jess Dalrymple

So you’ve pinpointed the literacy skill(s) your students need more help with, and you’ve carved out time for literacy interventions in your schedule. But what should you be doing with students to make the biggest impact on closing their gaps in literacy? Here are our recommendations for what to do during your intervention lessons to ensure your students meet their literacy goals this year.

what to do during literacy interventions in 1st 2nd and 3rd grade

Planning Around a Specific Learning Goal

The first step in planning effective literacy intervention lessons is to have a specific goal. The goal is based on the skills your students are lacking in reading and writing. Find more information about how to identify specific literacy skills to build lessons around.

Once you have a goal in mind, it’s time to get organized with your planning and goal-setting materials. The Lucky Little Learners Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit has several tools to make planning easy!

literacy intervention planning tools

Here is a deeper dive into how to use these goal-setting and planning tools.

Planning Effective Intervention Lessons

free small group planning tools

Download Small Group Binder Cover HERE

There are five-parts to a strong literacy intervention lesson:

  1. Set Up (review and practice of skills already mastered)
  2. Teach (model and teach the new concept)
  3. Engage (teacher-led practice with the new concept)
  4. Practice (extended practice with the new concept)
  5. Show You Know (quick check of skill progress/ mastery)
small group and intervention literacy planning template
Small Group Lesson Plan Template from the Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit

Take a look at how the intervention lesson components fit perfectly into the I Do, We Do, You Do lesson model:


Set Up (review and practice of skills already mastered)


Teach (model and teach the new concept)


Engage (teacher-led practice with the new concept)


Practice (extended practice with the new concept)

Show You Know (quick check of skill progress/ mastery)

small group lesson plan template

Let’s take a closer look at each part of a literacy intervention session using a sample lesson about digraphs.

small group intervention phonics lesson

I) Set Up

For the first 3-5 minutes it’s a good idea to get kids warmed up with an activity that reviews previously mastered skills. Some teachers like to set the expectation that as kids arrive at the small group table, they grab the review activity out of a tub and get to work right away. This makes transitions smooth and ensures nobody is sitting around getting wiggly, waiting to begin!

Sound boxes (pictured below) make excellent review activities! Kids choose a card, and use the sound boxes to first stretch out the individual sounds, and second, spell out the word with letter manipulatives. Last, have kids write the word using a washable marker. We’ve listed more hands-on literacy intervention activities HERE.

sound boxes for phonemic awareness review
Sound boxes and cards from the Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit

Download Sound Boxes HERE

II) “I DO”

Teach the new concept

The next 3-5 minutes are spent modeling and teaching the new concept. Try using multisensory phonics strategies – a great approach for teaching new phonics patterns!

small group planning tools for 1st and 2nd grade

Word lists and sentences for common spelling patterns are included in the Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit so you don’t have to rack your brain coming up with words for each of your groups. Huge timesaver!

word lists to practice phonics patterns

Download Phonics Words & Sentence Lists HERE


Engage students with a hands-on activity.

A great way to engage students in practicing the new skill is with one of our hands-on intervention activities.

Check out the video below to see examples!

Some of the hands-on interventions from the Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit

Download Hands-On Intervention Activities HERE


Practice the new skill in context.

You’ll want to spend the most time in the “practice” stage of the intervention lesson. We recommend around 15 minutes so your students have plenty of time to turn the new concept into a habit!

You can practice a new skill in many ways, but a good idea is to apply the skill kids have been practicing in context. Phonics Reading Passages work really well for this!

phonics reading passage to practice /ch/ in context
Digraph Phonics Passages can be found in the 2nd Grade Phonics Reading Passages Bundle

Download 2nd Grade Phonics Mats HERE

Show You Know

Conclude your literacy intervention lesson with a quick check of students’ understanding. This doesn’t have to be a new activity. You can ask students to demonstrate the practice activity one last time without any teacher guidance.

A quick and effective tool to use for this part of the lesson are sentence strips. Simply flip to a sentence that features the new skill and ask kids to read it to you for a quick progress check!

sentence flipbooks to use during literacy interventions
Sentence strips from the Small Group and Intervention Literacy Kit

Download Sentence Strips HERE

Small Group and Intervention Toolkit Contents

Our literacy kit is designed to give you everything you’ll need to plan and implement effective small group and/or intervention lessons with ease!

small group and intervention literacy kit contents

Grab a kit for your classroom so you’ll have everything to plan and teach effective small group literacy lessons at your fingertips!

2 Ways to Get These Resources

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits
what to do during literacy intervention lessons in 1st 2nd or 3rd grades


  1. Krissi

    I purchased this and I am not able to locate it. Can u please help.

    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi Krissi! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

  2. Helen

    Is there an option for getting all these wonderful resources at once?

  3. Priscilla

    How can I purchase “My Data Booklet?”

    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

  4. Ashely

    Is there a guide or suggestion on where to begin based on their Phonics assessment results? I am just not sure where to go from there. Thanks!

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Ashely! This is a great question! Check out our post called, “Literacy Screening is Done ~ Now What?” for more information about what to do next based on phonics screener results.

  5. Shawn

    Help! Has anyone found a good idea for the keeping the Velcro dots stuck in the Word Building Folder?? I tried hot glue, and putting down Scotch tape to make it more rough and less slick. I even bought “heavy duty” Velcro but it won’t stay stuck to the laminated folder.

  6. Jessica

    There is a small group planner pictured above (it has 3 groups listed), where can I find this specific document?
    Thank you

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Jessica, You can download (4) different versions of small group planners, including the 3-group template you are referring to HERE if you are a member of All Access. If you prefer to purchase the templates, they are included in our literacy intervention kit HERE. Thank you!

  7. Rashieda Lane Smith

    Where can I find the toolkit content list? I didn’t see it on all access.

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Rashieda! We will get that table of contents uploaded to All Access ASAP! In the mean time, I have emailed you a link to download that file. Thanks for reaching out and have a great day!


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