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Looking at Writing

Pre-K: Writing Sample 1

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.

"Ideas are the cheapest part of the writing. They are free! The hard part is what you do with the ideas you have gathered. " — Jane Yolen

Context of writing

A two year old girl produced this sample while working at the art table. After writing, she proudly held it up for approval.

What is this child able to do as a writer?

As with most children, this writer is beginning her writing career by scribbling and drawing. Grasping the crayon or pencil with a full fist, this young scribbling child is exploring with space and form and creating a permanent record of his ideas and thoughts. These first scribbles can be proud accomplishments!

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 can we do to nurture this writer?

Thick markers, crayons, and unlined paper are good writer's tools for this stage. Keep age-appropriate materials on hand for the child to explore. Model writing for your child by pointing out times when you're writing the grocery list or a thank you note. Talk about ways you use writing in your everyday life.

"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo