Preschool Writing Stages of Development and Activities that Encourage Preschoolers to Write Dr. Mary Abbott April 3, 2009 Information in this presentation is available for noncommercial use only. You may use the information provided that: (a) you do not modify or delete any content; (b) you do not redistribute content without identifying the website and author as the source of content; (c) the use of content does not suggest that our ERF project promotes or endorses any third party causes, ideas, Web sites, products or services. For additional permission requests, please contact Dr. Mary Abbott, firstname.lastname@example.org
How Does Writing Relate to Literacy? • Development of pre-writing skills are critical to development of phonological awareness skills (Stahl & McKenna, 2001). • Phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, vocabulary, and writing skill stimulate growth in one another (Perfetti, Beck, Bell, & Hughes, 1987).
Stages of Preschool Writing When learning to write, young children exhibit six different stages of development (Sulzby & Teale, 1985). This is a natural progression that occurs as children gain an understanding of what written language is and how it is used. Sulzby, E., & Teale, W. “Writing Development in Early Childhood.” Educational Horizons, Fall, 1985, 8-12.
Stage 1 - Drawings • Children begin written literacy by telling their stories through pictures they have drawn.
Stage 2 - WavyScribbles • Children make wave-like lines on paper. This is an attempt to copy handwriting. There are no letters or breaks to look like words. The lines are on-going waves across the page.
Stage 3 - Letter-Like Scribbles • Children make forms that look like made-up letters or numbers. Familiar letters may appear. The “letters” are not grouped in word forms but scattered on the page.
Stage 4 - Random Letters in a Line • As children begin to recognize letters, they begin to write them. Letter forms are often backwards or upside-down. Letters lack space between them (not in word form), but are often written in lines or letter strings.
Stage 5 - Patterned Letters/Strings • Children begin to include letter strings with recognizable patterns. Sometimes simple words or their names appear within the letter strings. Some simple letter-sound knowledge may appear.
Stage 6 - Conventional Writing • There is a connection between the letters on the page and the sounds in the words children are trying to write. Misspellings and backward letters common. The writing can be read by others.
This Development Timeline Begins at BIRTH! - 0-18 Months • Facial expressions and vocal imitation • Transferring objects from one hand to another • Follows moving object • Picks up a small object • Recognizing symbols (mama means mother)
Toddler (12 months to age 3) • Recognizes logos (golden arches) • Marks purposefully on paper • Asks adult to label • Learns to hold a pencil • Snips with scissors • Writes or scribbles all over paper
Preschool – 30 months-5 years • Can tell that book pictures have meaning • Draws to tell a story • Recognizes name/names some letters • Recognizes patterns • Produces letter forms & then letters • Writes random letters • Understands left to right • Copies words
How Do We Encourage Writing? Everyday during Circle/Small Group or Storybook, include some type ofLanguage Experience Approach (LEA)/Shared writing. This provides a good modeled example of writing for children. • No more than 5 minutes • List only 4~5 things • Write the title prior to lesson • Build vocabulary & back ground knowledge • Use a variety of techniques as you are writing • Use different formats – lists, graphs… • Move to writing center during center time
Center Time Writing • Provide a variety of writing materials, different types of paper and an easel/chalkboard. • First encourage writing by modeling the writing process with “think aloud” about shopping lists, letters to friends, or other daily writing tasks. Then have children make lists • Role play roles in which real writing is used (e.g., restaurant, library, veterinarian). • Asked children to read what they’ve written.
Special Needs & Most Important • If needed, work with children on sensorimotor skills that include how to hold and use a pencil and eye/hand coordination such as copying objects. • MOST IMPORTANT - Encourage children to write at very early stages of development even before they understand letters, words or sentences.