Chapter 2 Developmental Writing Stages: The Beginning Writer

Children learn to write in three distinct stages.  Within each stage children learn to identify their particular, special strengths and weaknesses.  It is exciting to watch children work their way from one stage to another.  The more they write and follow the “Writing Traffic Light” process, the more confidence they gain, and the better writers they become.

blast-02-02

blast-02-03The Beginning Writer

In this first stage, parents and teachers should celebrate children’s enthusiasm!  Young children can hardly wait to tell you about their pet or how they scraped their knee.  They want to write a bout it and tell the whole world! 

blast-01-04WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!:

As a parent or teacher, do not discourage that enthusiasm!  Let them use as much paper as they need.  Young children feel accomplishment when they write their own sentences.  Help them to see that they can write things by sounding out words.  Young children love to draw and these illustrations are an integral part of their writing.  Teach them simple drawing techniques (see How to Draw Simple Shapes Chapter).   Encourage them and then ask them about their artwork and words.  This stage needs LOTS of time; so when you do the activities in this book, make sure that you plan to take plenty of time.  Don’t expect that your children will finish their projects quickly.  If a writing activity take a week, that’s ok!  Take the week, whatever you do, don’t rush this stage!

blast-01-05EDIT: 

Editing in this stage is very short.  Have children read aloud what they have written to a friend.  Teach good listening skills to your class.  There will not be much revising, which is just fine.  It already took a lot of effort just to get the letters written the first time!  Part of the charm of this stage is young children’s excitement and experimentation with writing letters and drawing.  Editing with young children should include elaborating on their story.  Ask what can they ad to make their story better.

blast-01-02Sparkle:

Young children can add a nice title and write their names to their stories.  Invite them to share their work by reading to an audience and hanging it on the wall or other well-seen place.  Celebrate their success and improvement through the whole process!

 

Beginning Writers…

  • Write with scribbles
  • Use random letters to represent writing
  • Can write their name
  • Write the first sounds of words (C=Cat)
  • Write first and last sounds of words (CT= Cat)
  • Write stories that are mostly illustrations with only a few letters to tell the story
  • Love to write about themselves and what they know

 

blast-02-01Mari is a beginning writer. She loves to write stories about her cat.  As she progresses in her writing and reading, she uses beginning letter sounds to represent words:  MCRF= My Cat Runs Fast.  The fact that Mari knows which way text is read and written—left to right, top to bottom—is something to celebrate.  She knows where the title is and the page numbers go.  She follows her teacher’s hands as she demonstrates writing. She writes in her writing journal each day, usually by drawing a picture and a sentence. 

        When Mari decides to write a book about cats, at first her stories are just scribbles with very basic drawings of round cats.  The drawings of her cats remain the same, but soon Mari writes a few random letters.  Later, she puts one or two words on each page of her “Flip and Fold” book (see Activities)  Ft ct= Fat cat.  Mari leaves out the vowels, but ‘hears’ the beginning and end sounds of each word.  Her teacher does not correct spelling at this point.  Mari will learn to spell as she becomes more proficient at reading and writing.  The teacher simply tells her to sound words out the best that she can and listen for the letters.  Because she doesn’t rely on the teacher to correct and spell, Mari feels independent and confident about spelling words. 

Mari works on her book each day for about a week, writing letters, drawing and coloring.  When Mari finishes her book, she reads it to her friend Kirstie.  Kirstie asks what her cat eats, and Mari adds a new page to her book.  She gives it a title and reads it to her class and family.  It has been a successful writing experience for Mari and she has inspired many others to write books of their own.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beginning Writer

In this first stage, parents and teachers should celebrate children’s enthusiasm!  Young children can hardly wait to tell you about their pet or how they scraped their knee.  They want to write a bout it and tell the whole world!

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!:

As a parent or teacher, do not discourage that enthusiasm!  Let them use as much paper as they need.  Young children feel accomplishment when they write their own sentences.  Help them to see that they can write things by sounding out words.  Young children love to draw and these illustrations are an integral part of their writing.  Teach them simple drawing techniques (see How to Draw Simple Shapes Chapter).   Encourage them and then ask them about their artwork and words.  This stage needs LOTS of time; so when you do the activities in this book, make sure that you plan to take plenty of time.  Don’t expect that your children will finish their projects quickly.  If a writing activity take a week, that’s ok!  Take the week, whatever you do, don’t rush this stage!

 

EDIT:

Editing in this stage is very short.  Have children read aloud what they have written to a friend.  Teach good listening skills to your class.  There will not be much revising, which is just fine.  It already took a lot of effort just to get the letters written the first time!  Part of the charm of this stage is young children’s excitement and experimentation with writing letters and drawing.  Editing with young children should include elaborating on their story.  Ask what can they ad to make their story better.

 

Sparkle:

Young children can add a nice title and write their names to their stories.  Invite them to share their work by reading to an audience and hanging it on the wall or other well-seen place.  Celebrate their success and improvement through the whole process!

 

Beginning Writers…

  • Write with scribbles
  • Use random letters to represent writing
  • Can write their name
  • Write the first sounds of words (C=Cat)
  • Write first and last sounds of words (CT= Cat)
  • Write stories that are mostly illustrations with only a few letters to tell the story
  • Love to write about themselves and what they know

 

Mari is a beginning writer. She loves to write stories about her cat.  As she progresses in her writing and reading, she uses beginning letter sounds to represent words:  MCRF= My Cat Runs Fast.  The fact that Mari knows which way text is read and written—left to right, top to bottom—is something to celebrate.  She knows where the title is and the page numbers go.  She follows her teacher’s hands as she demonstrates writing. She writes in her writing journal each day, usually by drawing a picture and a sentence.

When Mari decides to write a book about cats, at first her stories are just scribbles with very basic drawings of round cats.  The drawings of her cats remain the same, but soon Mari writes a few random letters.  Later, she puts one or two words on each page of her “Flip and Fold” book (see Activities)  Ft ct= Fat cat.  Mari leaves out the vowels, but ‘hears’ the beginning and end sounds of each word.  Her teacher does not correct spelling at this point.  Mari will learn to spell as she becomes more proficient at reading and writing.  The teacher simply tells her to sound words out the best that she can and listen for the letters.  Because she doesn’t rely on the teacher to correct and spell, Mari feels independent and confident about spelling words.

Mari works on her book each day for about a week, writing letters, drawing and coloring.  When Mari finishes her book, she reads it to her friend Kirstie.  Kirstie asks what her cat eats, and Mari adds a new page to her book.  She gives it a title and reads it to her class and family.  It has been a successful writing experience for Mari and she has inspired many others to write books of their own.

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