Developmental Stages of Writing




How Do Children Learn How To Write?

Learning how to write is much like learning to read; it actually
begins before children come to school. Many parents get upset
with the early stages of writing because it is actually the scribbling
stage. Scribbling is a child’s way of trying to convey their
message through a picture. They aren’t yet able to coordinate
their hands to create the picture they see in their minds, so their
initial attempts appear to be scribble’s.
These scribbles are very important. A parent’s role at this stage
which occurs around the age of 2 or 3 years old is to praise their
work. “Oh, tell me about your picture” (because you will have NO
idea what it really is!) It is at this stage that children can be taught
the beginning rules of writing, which are: Writing needs to be
written on paper, not walls, or books or tables. Keep in mind early
scribbles won’t stay completely on the paper, so when you start
the writing process with your child, have your table protected. Or
like me, just plan in the future to know that you will need to sand
and refinish the child’s table you allow them to use for writing. It’s
actually interesting. The older my children get, the more I cherish
those little scribbles left on the tiny oak table we purchased just
for them to use when they were younger. I’m not sure I will ever
refinish the table.

These are the stages your child will move through when
learning to write. girlwriting                        
*Levels 1-3 are typically Kindergarten
*Levels 3-5 are First Grade
*Levels 5-6 are Second Grade.

1) Scribbling stage – a child makes random circular motions
with their writing utensil.

2) Beginnings – your child will start to put random letters
together to try to mimic adult writing. FMKIROOKSMMCJE
might be your child trying to communicate “I went to
grandmas yesterday”. Again your role is to praise their work.

Once your child shows an interest in learning how to write their
name around age 3 or 4. If they don’t you should encourage
it!. You can begin to explain that the letters of their name have
sounds. So if a child’s name is Pat. You can begin to point out
that they should use a P when they want to write “puppy”.
“Puppy starts with the sound /p/, just like in your name /p/ Pat.
They start with the same sound.”                                                    

3) Consonants – At this stage children typically begin to use
consonants to represent words. They switch between using
the initial consonant, a strong consonant in the middle of a
word or a final consonant they may hear. So for instance a
child may want to say “yesterday it was raining.” It would be
a typical response for them to write “y d t s r” as their
sentences. As long as the consonants they chose to
represent words are correct, this is a stage they will pass
through. This is typically a beginning Kindergarten stage.
They are unaware of spacing at this time.

4) Initial and final consonants – The next stage of writing is
when students begin to pay attention more to what they hear
when writing. You will see initial and final consonant sounds
correct with maybe a vowel or two interspersed. The writing
meant to say “My dad works at Sonic” might appear as “mi
dd wk at sok”.

5) Vowel/consonant combinations – Consonants and vowels
start to appear more regularly in the middle of words.
Parents can now almost figure out what their children are
saying. “Today I am going to ride a train after school.”  Could appear as: Tda I
am gog to rid a tan afr skol.

6) Words – All syllables in words are now represented at this
stage and basic sight words begin to appear. “I went
sledding with my family” may be represented as “I wint
sledng with my famlee” workshop

7) Standard Spelling - Students begin to understand and use
spelling patterns. They add to their knowledge and use of
basic sight words. “Tomorrow we are going to see a play
called Sleeping Beauty.” Would be presented as “Tomarrow
we are going to see a play called Sleeping Buety.”