Work with a small group of children to make signs for the classroom.
Give children examples of simple signs: QUIET AREA, BLOCKS, FREE TIME BOOKS, PUZZLES, TRUCKS AND CARS, PEOPLE AND ANIMALS, etc. Have them copy the signs to place in the room. Observe how children write individual letters, words, and a sequence of words.
Children will vary in their knowledge and understanding of the alphabet and the various components of writing. Observe what each child understands and can write without assistance. Look at components of early writing including: linearity (writing in a line), segmentation (letters and words are separate), presence of simple units, left-to-right direction, presence of complex units, random letters, and invented spelling. Ask children to make up their own sign after they have copied one.
Copying letters or words provides a means for children to observe, analyze, and recreate what they see. Early childhood educators and parents can involve children in meaningful writing activities by having children create their own signs, posters, lists, etc. that are copied from an adults. Teach the sequence of writing letters by giving children cues for the different strokes. For example, some programs call for lines in letters with a straight long stroke - a ladder, a curved part a caterpillar, or a line with a segment a robot. These cues help children learn the parts of a letter. Adults can help with sequencing. Adults should encourage children to write as much as they want. How it looks is not as important as wanting to put words to paper. Children will begin to ask about how to make letters, words, etc.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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