Let the child write the letters that make up the sounds in the words on her list.
Provide paper and pencil and tell the child, “We need a grocery list so we can go shopping for food. What do you want to put on your list?” Encourage the child to listen to the sounds in the word she is writing down. The adult can say the word, emphasizing the sound of the missing letter(s). For example, the child writes ‘bana.’ The adult says, “Count how many syllables are in banana. Right, three! You wrote two syllables, ba-na-. Now you need the last one. Listen, ba-na-NA.” Don’t worry about invented spelling.
The child identifies letters she hears in simple words. She tries to sound out words she wants to write. She has more success with first sound and last sounds and has more difficulty with vowels. She may write letter-like symbols for letters she does not know.
Also have children help when things need to be written down, such as a grocery list, a to-do list, a note to the janitor, or signs for the classroom. Writing for meaningful tasks is more motivating than writing for drill and practice.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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