Writing Learning Strategies
- Writing is one of the most complicated activities that we ask our children to do. It can be helpful to connect with your child’s teacher to discuss strategies that have helped in the past.
- Children need lots of different skills to be good writers:
- Language (vocabulary, grammar, verbal reasoning): All children benefit from talking first about what they are writing and connecting their ideas to past knowledge and experiences even more so for children with language difficulties
- Reason to write: Children are often more successful when they understand why they are writing and who will read it
- Printing, typing, speech to text, word prediction: Children need at least one way to get their thoughts onto paper, and this should feel manageable by the time they get to high school. It can be even better when they have more than one option.
- Organizing thoughts: All children need support to organize their ideas. When children struggle in this area, they can have a hard time getting started. Many people benefit from visuals to organize their thoughts. These visuals are called graphic organizers.
- Basic writing skills (spelling, punctuation, editing): Learning letter and sound relationships is important. Once children learn how to write they can start working on spelling, punctuation, and editing skills. Technology can help when any of these skills are tricky.
- There are many ways to encourage writing at home. Children can write letters to friends or family members, write out grocery lists, write in a daily journal, create posters, or even write notes with sidewalk chalk.
- A fun, easy, and low stress activity for children still developing their writing skills is to have the child draw a picture and then have the parent write the words to describe what is going on in the picture. Comic strips can be fun for younger and older children.
- One of the best ways to promote the development of your child’s language skills is by spending time together, telling stories together, and describing events such as family trips or parties.
- Some games can help with writing skills (i.e., Scrabble, Boggle, Quiddler, Balderdash) whereas others are great for supporting language (i.e., HeadBanz, Guess Who, Heads Up)
Strategies and Resources:
- Parent Guide to Printing Like a Pro Program
- Printing Like a Pro worksheets
- Supports for Printing
- Fine Motor Warm Up Activities Nov 2020
- Typing Pals Link (District Subscription English – contact teacher)
- Tap Touche (District Subscription French – contact teacher)
- Learning to Type tip sheet
- Typing Pal Instruction for Comox Valley School
- Video tour of Typing Tools available in SD71 (scroll to the bottom)
Graphic organizers are a powerful tool to help children of all ages organize their thoughts in a visual way. The Graphic organizers below are downloadable and printable. If children benefit from the use of technology, the organizers can be used with Claro PDF Pro and Office Lens Apps on iPad or Android devices or OrbitNotes extension on the computer. These apps and extensions can be used with Speech to Text, Word Prediction and Text to Speech supports. Students using AAC Talkers can write the messages on their Talker app (Touch Chat, LAMP etc.) and copy and paste the message window into the graphic organizers.
- Paragraph Graphic Organizer (Understood.org)
- Persuasion Graphic Organizer (Understood.org)
- Pros and Cons T-Chart Graphic Organizer (Understood.org)
- Sequence Chart Graphic Organizer (Understood.org)
- Collection of Downloadable Graphic Organizers
- Collection of Downloadable Graphic Organizers (French)
- Literacy 44 Graphic Organizers
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphic Organizers
- Read Write Think Student Interactives
- Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers
- Read Write Think Printouts
- Graphic Organizer Maker
Collection of Writing Prompts and Story Starters.
- Writing Prompts
- Video Writing Prompts
- Pic Lit Photo writing prompts with text options
- Write About This and Tell About This iPad apps with photo writing prompts and topic starters
- Free apps by Duck Duck Moose when students can make a scene and animate it then record their voice to tell the story. Draw and Tell, Princess Fairy Tale Maker and Super Hero Comic Maker
Accessibility Technology Tools:
- Accessibility Assistive Technology Link (Writing Technology Supports)
- Video for Written Output Accessibility Tools for Window computers (second from the bottom)
- Book Creator, Chatter Pix Kids, Draw and Tell and Flip are apps and programs that can be used for writing, speaking and representing knowledge in different ways. These tools can support children who have great ideas but struggle to represent ideas in a written format.
- Integration of AAC and Writing Resources – Alternative Pencils, Predictable Chat Writing and more
Reading Rockets is a rich resource full of information and research-based strategies to support literacy skill development. Supports and Writing Strategies. Tips for Developing Writing and Spelling at Home.
The mission of ReadWriteThink is to provide educators, parents, and after school professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.
Writing and Communication are strongly connected. The following two websites provide information and supports for language skill development that fosters writing, speaking and representing.
The goal of the Hanen Centre is to empower parents and professionals to build children’s lifelong social, language, and literacy skills. There are several articles worth highlighting including:
- How to Build Language and Literacy Through Powerful Conversations
- Springboards for Learning, Early Experiences Launch Children’s Development Forward
The Talk Box is a fantastic resource created by Alberta Speech and Language Pathologists to support and encourage the development of good language skills. Clicking on this link will take you to a page where you can access every day tips and information for preschool children (birth to age 5) and for school-aged children (5 to 12 years).