Observe the child in a small group literacy activity with magazines, paper, and pencils.
Have the child find a favorite picture from a magazine or catalog. Ask him to cut out the pictures and tape them onto paper. Then ask him to write something about the picture underneath. The adult should make sure the child knows that anything he writes is fine. He should “write in whatever way you can.” Provide models if the child asks.
The child uses whatever skills he has to write his description. May write some letters, especially those that are in his name or other familiar words. The adult needs to observe carefully and note how the child sequences letters and words, which letters he can write, how letters are constructed, and when the child reverts to lower level skills.
Children at this level are at a critical point in learning to read and write. They are connecting letters and sounds, and they want to make words and convey their ideas to others. Adults can play a key role in providing both motivation, and support. Children learn much from looking at and listening to words being read. Early childhood educators and parents can use dialogic reading strategies and talk about the words in the text, the sounds in the words, etc. Read the same books frequently, so children learn the words, then let them read the books, while looking at the words. Having a reason to write is important for stimulating children to put words on paper. Let children’s interests and needs guide the reasons to write.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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