Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Encouraging Early Writing

Getting small children and younger students interested in writing can be a little tricky, but, with the right activities, it can be fun.

During arts and crafts time, encourage students to experiment with pencils, pens, crayons and paper because children like to imitate adult work. They can draw flow charts, instructions or stories. Encourage them to fill in whatever words they do know under their images.

During playtime, encourage the kids to play games that involve pretend-writing, like grocery shopping lists, letters to friends and filling in applications.

You can also try having your students dictate a few sentences of a short story while you slowly write the words for them. This way, they can see the movement that your hand makes as you write the words. They can illustrate the story and, again, fill in the words they do know under their images.

Another good method for getting younger students to learn how to write letters and words is to copy out a word, lightly, in pencil. They can then trace the letters you've written and try mimicking the shapes themselves on another line.

Word searches are quiet, individual games that can be played in the classroom and also develop their word skills. They learn to find certain letters and words and can also start to learn how to pick out smaller words within larger ones.

Based on a portion of Ready to Learn by Anne Burke, published by Pembroke Publishers.

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