Ask the child to label a picture or drawing. The child may know some sounds and letters, particularly if the letters are in her name.
Tell the child to write “in your own writing” under the picture or drawing to label the picture.
The child makes a combination of letter-like and real letters. The “letters” will be segmented into separate marks and in line to represent a word. The letters in the child’s name may be accurately represented, but not in the right order.
Early childhood educators and parents can encourage children to write by asking them to label pictures. Begin to sound out words and see if children can write the letters that make the sounds. Tell children the letter if they do not know the sound-letter association. Encourage left to right writing, spacing of letters and/or words, and use of punctuation, if needed. Children may not understand returning to the left side of the paper when they are at the end of a line. Explain the writing sequence from left to right on each line.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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