Pobble helps us see how to plan better for writing.
Literacy is simply defined as the ability to read and write, but these skills are prefaced by the development of oral language and vocabulary. These three skills—oral language, reading, and writing, in that order—are the key to creating literate children.
Writing, then, is the glue that cements the mastery of oral language and reading for the child. All the more important, then, that children not only learn to write, but learn to see themselves as writers. Here are five suggestions to helping children become life-long writers.
1. Provide authentic writing experiences.
When children are asked to write for a specific purpose, not only does it show children that writing is important, it shows that them that their opinions are valuable. Some examples are below.
2. Provide multiple writing materials.
In our daily lives, we do not limit our writing to one medium. We write on computers, in notebooks, and on scrap paper. Encourage children to see writing as a multifunction activity by providing them with lined paper, colored paper, graph paper, notecards, scrap paper, white boards or chalk boards, notebooks, diaries, and online word processing programs. Writing instruments could be lead pencils, colored pencils, pens, crayons, markers, highlighters, chalk, paint, computers, typewriters, or even letter stamps and ink. Keeping all child-friendly areas stocked with various writing supplies will encourage spontaneous writing.
3. Encourage stress-free spelling.
Imagine if every paper or writing that you created were marked with corrections, would you want to continue to write? If we are trying to encourage our children to write and write more often, then we need to understand that a child can read words (‘decoding’) before they can write those same words (‘encoding’). Decoding is always easier than encoding, so reading will usually be more advanced than writing, even at further developmental stages. Encourage children to write the sounds they hear and use words around them to help them write what is difficult. If a child is writing a list of cities or attractions to visit, they can use a map, website, or brochure for reference.
4. Value children’s writing.
If a child creates a piece of writing, but it is only read once and then filed or forgotten, this fails to show that their writing is appreciated and useful. Copy a child-created shopping list to use on the next several trips. Display children’s writing in frames, on a bulletin board, or in other locations. Have the child address and send postcards, thank you cards, and letters. Use a child-created checklist when preparing for an event or trip.
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