Looking at Writing

Kindergarten: Writing Sample 3

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 girl wrote this story during Kindergarten writing workshop where students are given free choice of topics.

What is this child able to do as a writer?

  • This student has an idea she wants to share with her pictures and a sentence.
  • She is using a clear sentence to tell about her picture.
  • She includes details in her picture to help tell her story.
  • She begins the sentence with a capital letter and ends with a period.
  • She uses a combination of upper and lower case letters.

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]


It is raining outside.

What does this child need to learn next?

This child has not completely developed a concept of word, words needing to be separated in the sentence ('raining outside' is combined). The teacher could provide short lines for the separation of words or the student could underline each word as she sounds it out and writes it.

This child may be ready to add more sentences to her writing. She has written about the setting of the picture. She might be prompted to write about the person in the picture next. For example, the teacher could work one-on-one with this child using a 5W's graphic organizer. Having some questions words for the student to think about answering may help her generate more writing — "Where does this picture take place?" "Who is in the picture?" "What is happening in this picture?" "When is this story happening?"

The teacher could write key words on the graphic organizer (17K PDF) for the student.

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943