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Looking at Writing

Kindergarten: Writing Sample 5

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)
"If you want to write, you should pay attention to people — everybody has a story — and listen to people when they talk. " — Kate DiCamillo

Context of writing

A kindergarten boy wrote this story during writing workshop where students were encouraged to write about something they were an "expert" on. This is the final page of a three-page book about planets.

What is this child able to do as a writer?

  • This student has a lot of ideas to share. He writes several sentences to share his expertise about planets.
  • He has a solid concept of word.
  • He uses descriptive language ('orange' and 'smallest')
  • He is beginning to revise his writing. He has written the "sun is the biggest planet" and written over it "sun is a big star" to correct his information.

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: 

I am traveling in a rocket ship to Saturn and Saturn is orange. Pluto is the smallest planet and sun is a big star. ("the biggest planet" was written over in blue)

What does this child need to learn next?

This student is not using any punctuation in his writing. He may be so excited to get all of his information on the page when he writes that he can't think about using mechanics at the same time. He should be encouraged to re-read his writing aloud to himself or someone else. He could be taught to listen for natural pauses in his words, which would signal the ends of sentences. He may also hear where he has forgotten a word in a sentence ('and sun is a big star' — omitted the 'the' before sun).

"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain