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:
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 form the use of technology, the organizers can be used with Claro PDF Pro and Office Lens Apps on iPad or Android devices or Texthelp PDF Reader extension on the computer. These apps and extensions can be used with Speech to Text, Word Prediction and Text to Speech supports.
Collection of Writing Prompts and Story Starters.
Accessibility Technology Tools:
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:
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).