How to Teach Young Children How to Write
- The first stage of writing is scribbling.
- The second stage of writing is making lines, markings, and shapes.
- The third stage of writing is making a continuous series of letters
- The fourth stage of writing begins when a child makes some letter/ sound matches; for example he may write the letter “c” next to his picture of a cat.
- The fifth stage writing begins when a child uses more conventional spellings of words.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
Children can further their fine motor development by controlling the small muscles in their hands, while experimenting with the different writing tools.
- Writing letters in shaving cream
- Water colors
- Peeling stickers
- Beads and String
Have an area of your classroom just for writing. This area should have a desk filled with pencils, markers, and pens to encourage children to practice writing. Not only does this center have writing tools, but also a variety of different materials to write on. Such as sparkly note pads, mini dry erase boards, or colored sheets of paper. This should be one of your most popular centers because young children love to write in their journal and make their own books. As a final point, this area provides children the opportunity to understand the purpose of writing and to practice writing letters and spelling words.
- Children should be able to use a variety of writing tools and materials.
- Blank paper: Lined paper is not developmentally appropriate for young children. One reason is that young children’s fine motor skills are not fully developed, therefore they cannot write small enough to stay between the lines. Another reason for using blank paper is that some children may concentrate on the lines and not the product, thus causing irritation and defeating the whole purpose of writing.
- Tools for writing and drawing (colored pencils, pens, markers, crayons)
- Stamps: Using stamps help children explore what letters look like when printed.
- Stencils: Children can use stencils to help write letters.
- Broken Crayons: Broken crayon stubs force the correct tripod grip.
- Daily Sign In: Have children sign their name (or mark) on a sign-in sheet each morning. Not only can you use this as a daily attendance system but also can use as an assessment tool to track children’s name-writing skills.
- Mail Call: Add postcards, envelopes, and stickers to represent stamps. Encourage your children to pretend to write letters.
- Journal: Journaling is a wonderful way to teach children the purpose of writing. While journaling children will be able to represent thoughts and ideas through pictures, marks, scribbles, and letter like forms. Then the children tell their thoughts for the teacher to write down.