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Characteristics to Consider Children's Writing Readiness Children's Needs To Able to Write Ways to Develop Children's Writing Readiness

Writing Readiness

Children's Needs To Be Able to Write

Developing his knowledge of the English language so he can understand what he copies and knows how to say what he wants

Developing an interest in wanting to write in English

Recognising that print is different from pictures and that it has meaning

Developing the ability to discriminate between shapes in order to recognize and then make the fine distinctions between letters

Developing visual memory for shapes

Developing the large muscles of his arm and hands and the fine muscles of his forefingers and thumb

Pencil Grasp
Steps to a correct pencil grasp: 1) Make a fist 2) Make a round circle by bending your pointer finger and thumb. 3) Pinch your finger close to the end. 4) Bring your middle finger under the pencil to hold it in place. Some ideas to strengthen pencil grasp are: play games to increase upper body strength, try holding a wooden dowel or chopstick with the correct grasp, use a pencil grasp that facilitates proper pencil grasp & trains the proper muscles

Pre-writing Shapes
2 years: Make a vertical line & begin to make a circle 4 years: Bring diagonal lines, Xs & squares 5 years: Learn to make a triangle with 3 sharp corners & make all capital letters correctly Activities to facilitate pre-writing shape formation: fun drawing, making shapes out of pretzel/cookie dough, drawing in shaving cream in the bathtub, forming shapes in the dirt

Characteristics to Consider Childrens Writing Readiness

Letter Recognition
Some will start to identify letters at a very early age & others are still working on letter recognition at 4 & 5 years old. To encourage them: ask them to look at the signs in the grocery store and find the letters or on billboards during a car trip

Motivation and Interest in Writing

Motivation and interest are probably the two most important ingredients when considering a childs readiness to write. One example of activity: Use Capital Letter Stories first to teach correct letter formation and then engage in a fun activity (form the letters with play dough, paint the letters onto a picture) Motivation is often spontaneously increased if a child has the developmental skills of a correct pencil grasp and pre-writing shape formation

They have to be able to identify before writing really has meaning for them

Stages of Early Writing Development

Early Writing
General Guidlines for Early writing Instruction

Stages of Early Writing Development

Stage 1: Random Scribbling (ages 2-3) Child makes random contact with the paper and exhibits little muscular control. What to Teach: Encourage continued exploration of making marks with crayons and chalk. Allow time and materials for gross-motor and fine-motor development.

Stage 2: Controlled Scribbling (ages 3) Pretend writing is produced as child scribbles across paper in a linear fashion. Patterns may be repeated over and over. Shows increased muscular control. What to Teach: Recognize the value of childs writing. Show how to secure paper with the helper hand. Blocks, puzzles, and self-care tasks allow development of the arms, hands and wrists.

Stage 3: Mock Writing (ages 3-4) Writing includes letter-like forms, often arranged in groups and word-like strings. Mock letters may include characteristics of familiar letters but may be misshapen, combined, reserved, or invented. Children often write for a purpose. Stage 4: Writing Letters (ages 4-5) Child names and writes recognizable letters, although letters are frequently reserved. They write their names and other words that personal meaning. These writers show an awareness that letters match sounds. What to Teach: Demonstrate letter formation to avoid selfcreated and inefficient methods such as writing from bottom to top. Grouping letters that share common strokes will help develop correct motor patterns for writing letters. Forestall bad habits by continuing to encourage a good writing grip. What to Teach: Letter recognition is important. Teach basic writing strokes and directions. Demonstrate a good writing grip. Working on an easel, stringing beads, and doing simple crafts continue to develop fine-motor skills.

Stage 5: Writing Words (ages 5-6) Using invented writing, children group letters to write many words. Mature writing grip has developed. Children write letters, including lowercase letters, more smoothly and automatically. Dominant writing hand and use of helper hand are well-developed. What to Teach: Assess that children have internalized correct, efficient motor pattern to write each letter. Monitor writing grip. Writing practice should be multisensory and include materials such as play dough.

General Guidelines for Early Writing Instruction

Provide meaningful contexts for learning the mechanics of writing.

Ask students to discuss in pairs or groups how they would feel if the books they were reading has words of uneven size of fonts

Use pupils own oral compositions for giving them insights into writing.

Write down brief stories, news items that pupils dictate to you exactly as they say it. This gives them practice in composing.

Constantly keep the benefits of learning to write before them.

Get students to write captions for their drawings. This serves the purpose of recording their thoughts when they made the picture, thus serve the same purpose as diary.

Make it a practice to read to your pupils a variety of things.

Discuss with them what they liked about the stories. Include discussion of the writers' style, choice of words, where appropriate.

Develop your pupils' natural curiosity and thinking skills.

Without these, they will have nothing to say, even when they have the means in terms of language, handwriting and a situation.