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Looking at Writing

Pre-K

Preschoolers start "writing" by scribbling and drawing letter-like shapes in a large circular motion. Often, a young child's first letters are drawn by accident and then identified by the child or parent. Kids at this age will form letters to represent written language for meaningful words like their names or phrases such as "I love you." Preschoolers who see older kids or adults write begin to see that writing has a purpose and they will want to try it. Provide lots of writing materials — paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, and drawing tablets.

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

In this section, you'll find writing assessment resources, writing strategies, and additional tip sheets for teachers and parents on how to help preschoolers build strong writing skills. You'll also find video of children's authors, classroom instruction, and literacy experts.

Select the "Sample" links at left to view real examples of pre-K writing at different skill levels.

Writing instruction

"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox