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Looking at Writing

Kindergarten: Writing Sample 1

Kindergarteners are often enthusiastic writers and they will weave writing activities into their play. Provide budding writers with experiences that give them something to write about. Invented spelling is normal at this age, as children are translating the sounds of spoken words into writing. Children at this age can read their own writing and should be encouraged to read aloud!

  • Print own first and last name
  • Draw a picture that tells a story and label or write about the picture
  • Write upper- and lowercase letters (may not be clearly written)
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. " — Mark Twain

Context of writing

A five year old boy drew this picture during his Kindergarten writing workshop where students are given free choice of topics.

What is this child able to do as a writer?

  • This student in the emergent stage of writing has an idea he wants to share.
  • He uses many details in his picture. He has several people in his picture — someone on the street, someone in a building, and a bus driver. The drawing has many details in the setting — buildings, a bus, the street, and a sunny day.
  • He shows a sense of balance by centering the picture on the page.

Move your cursor over each red bubble image marker for observations about this child’s writing.

[Click the sample to view the full size image. See transcript]

Transcript: 

Picture only, no words.

What does this child need to learn next?

This child could begin to use letters and words to express his ideas by being encouraged to label the important parts of his picture with a beginning sound.

Taking dictation for students not yet fluent in writing allows students to see how oral language is translated into written language. Written words let students see what they say. Therefore, writing makes thoughts visible. For more information, see the article Literacy-Rich Environments.

Continue to provide your budding writer with experiences that give him or her something to write about. Trips to the park, post office, and grocery store provide real-life experiences that can be recorded by a new writer. Concept sorts are another great way to infuse new vocabulary into everyday conversations.

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney