Looking at Writing

Pre-K: Writing Sample 5

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.

"Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window." —

William Faulkner

Context of writing

This writing sample was created by a four year old named Kella. When asked what she wrote, the author said "Mom. Dad. Erin. Kella."

What is this child able to do as a writer?

The four words in this writing sample are important sight words for this child: Mom, Dad, Erin (her sister), and Kella (her name).

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]


Mom. Dad. Erin. Kella.

What can we do to nurture this writer?

Continue to offer prompts or encouragement to keep this young writer interested in writing. Read finished works out loud and encourage illustrations. The conversations you have about things that interest your writer will give him more to write about. Let your child see you writing lists, letters and forms. Have a variety of materials on hand (pens, pencils, note cards, envelopes). 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.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald