Evolution of a Child’s Writing

Writing is one of the most challenging subjects to teach a child.  When writing, students need to pay attention to have interesting content, be able to write the different genres, as well as have correct grammar.  We believe it is important to start encouraging your child to write when they are young and to practice often.  Children need to practice writing just as much as reading in order to become proficient writers.  We have suggested ways you can make writing fun in this post here.  When children start writing, they go through a series of 12 stages that begins with scribbling and ends with whole sentence writing.

1. Scribble Stage: A child scribbles with a starting point at any place on the page.

2. Scribble: A child scribbles from the left to right progression.  In kindergarten, we begin the year by teaching the children how to scribble write.  After writing a scribble we teach the child how to break up the scribble for each word.

3.   Mock Letters: A child writes mock letters that can be personal and made up or conventional.

4.  Letter Strings:  A child writes left to write and progressively downwards.

5. Grouping Letters: A child begins to group letters together with space in between to resemble words.

6. Picture Labeling:  A child who begins to understand phonics will start to label their pictures with letters of the beginning sounds of words.

7. Copies: A child begins to copy words they see in the environment.  You may notice preschools will label almost everything in the room for children to copy.  This would be a good time to label items around your house for your child to copy.

8. Beginning Sounds: A child begins to use the first letter of the word to represent the word.  In kindergarten, we teach the student to write the beginning sound for each word and scribble the rest of the word.  We also teach the students to begin with an uppercase letter and to end the sentence with punctuation.  High frequency words like the are posted for the child to copy.

I went to the museum.

9. Beginning and Ending Sounds:  The next stage is when the child is able to hear the ending sounds of words and write a letter to represent the ending sound.  I find the problem with the ending sounds is that most people drop the ending sound when they speak or they do not clearly say the ending sound.  Children who tend to drop the ending sound when they speak will also drop it when they write.

10. Medial Sounds: A child will hear beginning, medial, and ending sounds.  In kindergarten, a child is expected to sound out and write CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words and maybe some beginning and ending blends.

11.  Phrase writing: A child may write in phrases and not in complete sentences.  In kindergarten, we encourage students to edit their own writing by rereading what they have written and add any missing words.

12. Whole Sentence Writing:  A child begins to write a complete sentence with correct spacing, using uppercase and punctuation appropriately, and phonetic spelling.

We encourage you have your child practice writing everyday.  The more they write the better they will become at writing.  There are also many resources online that have suggestions on how to encourage your child to write.  Here is a link to one of the articles that I found informative.

Teach Children to Love Writing

Disclaimer: The views on this site are entirely our own.  They do not represent or are they endorsed by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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